‘Ghosted’ – Review

With the right charm, Ghosted could have been a campy, fun film that reverses the stereotypes of the capable, sexy male spy and his hapless female lover. However, the film has the sheen of a commercial in its rom-com moments and the look of a video game in its action sequences.

Lately, there has been a trend of rom-com action film hybrids. While it’s not a new phenomenon (hello Romancing the Stone and Mr. and Mrs. Smith), there have already been several this year, including The Lost City and Shotgun Wedding. So Apple TV+’s Ghosted is in good company, as a combination romantic comedy and action film. It’s just unfortunate that it’s not particularly good at being either one. 

Dexter Fletcher directs Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in a film written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers. It’s a general rule that any script that has four writers is probably not going to be great, and Ghosted is no exception. Some have already commented that it seems like the script was written by ChatGPT; while attempting to put a new spin on the genre, it’s loaded full of clichés and lines that make you question if the writers have ever heard a normal person speak. 

The story is as follows: Sadie (de Armas) is a secret agent who is questioning if the lonely lifestyle she’s been living is actually sustainable. So when she meets all-American farmer boy Cole (Evans) at a farmer’s market and he asks her out on a date, she decides to accept. A coffee turns into an all-day (and all-night) whirlwind first date and both are optimistic about the prospects of a future relationship. However, when Sadie goes radiant silent, the overly-needy and smothering Cole is worried that his incessant texting has already driven her off. 

After his younger sister delightedly tells him that he’s been ghosted, Cole remembers that he left his inhaler in Sadie’s backpack. He has a tracker on the inhaler because of his propensity to lose it, so he’s able to figure out that his new flame is in London and assumes she was sent there for the art curator job she said demands a lot of travel from her. Supported by his parents, he decides to follow her there as a romantic gesture. But he’s shocked when he arrives to find out that she’s actually a secret agent and that the bad guys she’s trying to save the world from think that he’s a mysterious figure called “the Taxman” who has the answers they need. 

It’s actually not a horrific idea for a film. With the right charm, it could lead to a campy, fun film that reverses the stereotypes of the capable, sexy male spy and his hapless female lover. However, the film has the sheen of a commercial in its rom-com moments and the look of a video game in its action sequences. The filmmaking is far below what we’ve come to expect from Apple TV+ offerings and even pales in comparison to something like Netflix’s The Gray Man. 

Ghosted was originally meant to be a vehicle for Evans and Scarlett Johansson and it’s feasible to think that their chemistry might have partially saved it. But ScarJo had to drop out because of scheduling conflicts and Armas was chosen as her replacement. With the chemistry that she and Evans have in Knives Out and in their interviews, the choice was understandable but somehow they have no chemistry in Ghosted to the point of seeming stilted together. Meanwhile, Adrien Brody portrays the main villain with the sort of camp that the movie seems to demand, but sounds like he’s imitating Marlon Brando in The Godfather in most of his lines. 

It’s fun to see Evans as a history-loving farmer who hasn’t been out of the country before, but the character doesn’t make sense for the trope they’re playing with. If they’d gone for someone like Tom Hiddleston and made him a professor, it would have been more believable – but most farmers know their way around a gun and aren’t squemish about bugs. 

There’s also issues like the bad wig on de Armas, the subpar performances from both leads, and the somewhat racist decision to suddenly uproot the action to the Middle East once the terrorists are introduced. No amount of fun cameos or the funny way that Evans delivers, “I’m a farmer!” can save this movie. The only thing Ghosted can say for itself is that it’s not as horrible as the last film that de Armas starred in.

Grade: D

Oscars Prospects:
Likely: None
Should be Considered: None

Where to Watch: Apple TV+

Nicole Ackman
she/her @nicoleackman16
Living out her childhood dreams of being a writer, just like Jo March
Favorite Directors: Kenneth Branagh and Greta Gerwig
Sign: Virgo

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