‘Ghosted’: Film Review- DC’s Take

Something tells me Ghosted won’t likely be remembered fondly by anybody for the rest of the year. However, watching an action movie with the traditional blend of comedy and a little romance usually results in some enjoyment. Most of them stem from the ’90s and the mid-2000s but tried to find their way back in the early ’10s that didn’t make much of a lasting impression. The latest film, now streaming on Apple TV+, elevated that potential when it got two of the hottest stars working, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, in their third collaboration. The fact the reactions came out the night before the premiere wasn’t shocking, considering I forgot it was coming out this month. And after deciding to watch it before bed, I can’t say this satisfied me since this predictable ride is pretty bad.

What’s the Story: Cole (Evans) is a friendly farmer who just got through a recent break-up where he can be the type of guy who has been described as clingy and needy. Then comes along an “art curator” named Sadie (de Armas) at a farmer’s market, where their first meet-cute involved an argument about taking care of a tiny cactus. The sexual tension exists as Cole chases after Sadie and asks her out on a date. A simple going out for coffee expanded into a day date, concluding with them sleeping together in the morning. Cole thinks she’s the one but has heard nothing back from her after sending dozens of messages, leaving him to believe he has been “ghosted.” For someone who’s never been outside the country, Cole makes the rash decision to travel to London since he remembers he has a tracker in his inhaler and believes she’s there for a business trip. But that surprise romantic gesture changes quickly when Cole gets kidnapped by men who think he’s an arms dealer named “The Taxman,” but gets saved by Sadie, who’s actually a CIA agent and must keep him safe while on her mission.

Ghosted brought my attention when this got Evans and de Armas as the leads you know will probably fall in love before the credits roll. I’m a fan of both, Evans especially, but it’s shocking how much chemistry they didn’t share here. Although everything started charming enough of getting to know each other, once it became that Sadie wasn’t who she said she is and Cole got tangled up, becoming the damsel in distress, they were doing nothing for me, and that’s because I never cared for either of their characters when their constant bricking isn’t anything special we haven’t seen before. Evans gives off the kind of performance you want to take home to your parents, but he does come off as a stalker as a guy who travels to see a woman he just met. And de Armas has slowly shown she has a knack for action after her scene-stealing appearance in No Time to Die. She shows she can kick ass, but it’s a shame it’s explored more in this mess. Scarlett Johansson was supposed to be in this but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. She wouldn’t have made this work either if she had stayed on. 

What baffled me the most was how this was directed by none other than Dexter Fletcher, who made Eddie the Eagle and the underrated musical biopic Rocketman. Those were great, which doesn’t apply to this at all when it’s a globetrotting adventure with no style brought to the table. It never gets more interesting when it goes from the run-of-the-mill rom-com to an action flick that invests the same level as other streaming movies of this type. And on paper, having the roles switched is a good idea, especially with individual writing teams Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool) and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (MCU Spider-Man trilogy) behind it. But talented screenwriters like them go for a storyline so generic it has to deal with some cringe dialogue everyone has to say out loud and having to track down the macguffin before it falls into the hands of an underutilized Adrien Brody with his pencil-thin mustache and a bad attempt at a French accent (?). 

None of the action sequences attempted to be exciting; they were all flat under Fletcher’s direction and Salvatore Totino’s cinematography, and this failed to be hilarious. The recurring jokes of individuals telling Cole and Sadie to “get a room” never meant so little. This has a way of supplying viewers with explosions, fights, and chases, but they never enthrall since they were poorly cut and the green screen backdrops are too visible, even when watching it on a computer screen. Even when it delivers a sequence with de Armas driving a bus backward on a mountain pass in Pakistan, The Knack’s “My Sharona” spoiled it by playing it randomly. Speaking of which, the needle drops were unnecessary and didn’t start well when it irritated me with Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still,” a song I despise. The last set piece, which takes place in a revolving restaurant, is clever, but I mentally checked out in the last half hour when it needed to wrap up or something exciting to happen so I could sleep.

Ghosted had the potential to be a charming action rom-com, but it never delivered on that promise. Chris Evans and Ana de Armas sparked little chemistry when everything surrounding them was bland from an action and dialogue standpoint. It’s forgettable at best when it’s less The Lost City and more in line with Red Notice or Knight & Day. Let’s hope this won’t come out with an unnecessary sequel. 

Grade: [D+]

Ghosted is now streaming on Apple TV+| Runtime: 116 Minutes| Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence/action, brief strong language and some sexual content| Studio: Apple Studios

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