REVIEW: “Ghosted” (2023)

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas pair up in “Ghosted”, the new action-adventure romantic comedy for Apple TV+. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and with screenplay credits going to Rhett Reese, Chris McKenna, Paul Wernick, and Erik Sommers, this hokey head-scratcher tries to ride on the star wattage of its handsome two leads and host of fun supporting players. As it turns out they aren’t enough to keep this maddeningly bland misfire from succumbing to its own lack of originality or imagination.

The core problems of “Ghosted” lies in its script. It’s hard to see it as anything more than some manufactured studio concoction that bases every choice on something seen in other movies. In fact, it borrows so heavily from other better (and worse) movies that it’s a struggle to find anything resembling an original idea. Obviously there’s nothing inherently wrong with drawing from other works. But when your movie is this dependent, it can’t help but show on screen. And no amount of dollars (and this movie clearly cost a lot of them) can hide it.

Image Courtesy of Apple TV+

The film gets off on the wrong foot with a cornball opening act that’s so excessively cloying you’ll swear it’s a spoof. Chris Evans plays Cole, a hapless and high-strung farmer with a love for agricultural history and houseplants. He’s recently been dumped and it doesn’t take long before we can understand why. While manning his booth at a local farmers market he encounters Sadie (Ana de Armas), a beautiful art curator. With their cover model good looks and synthetic charm, Cole and Sadie have their own “Before Sunrise” experience crammed into the film’s opening 15 minutes.

The two go their separate ways, but after Sadie doesn’t answer Cole’s MANY texts he begins to fear he’s been ghosted. So in the creepiest and most implausible move imaginable, Cole tracks Sadie to London and hops on a plane to go find her. But rather than surprising the girl he’s crazy about he ends up tranquilized, taken captive, and hauled to Pakistan by a Russian interrogator with a fascination for bugs (played by Tim Blake Nelson in the first of the film’s many cameos).

The interrogator mistakes Cole for someone called “The Taxman” and he’s been hired by an ex-French Intelligence arms dealer named Leveque (a mustache twirling Adrien Brody) to extract some sensitive information from his captive. But wouldn’t you know it, Sadie busts in to save him, popping off headshots like a poor man’s John Wick. It turns out she’s no art curator. She’s a CIA agent with her own ‘particular set of skills’.

Image Courtesy of Apple TV+

After an obviously expensive, utterly ridiculous, yet pretty fun escape through the winding mountain roads of Pakistan, Sadie tells the antsy Cole (and us) about a dangerous biochemical weapon called “Aztec” and about her mission to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Of course they end up teaming up – the dimwit and the super spy – trying to outwit Leveque, dodging his pesky henchmen, and trying to convince us that there’s some actual romantic chemistry between them. That last one proves to be a toughest sell.

As their not-so-interesting adventure unfolds we’re flooded with an overkill of cameos (a couple are admittedly fun but the movie overdoes it), cringey needle drops, tiresome and unfunny running gags, and generic plotting. Even the big action finish feels overwrought yet strangely lackluster. So that leaves it up to Evans and de Armas. He tries hard to make Cole likable comic relief, but he gets annoying over time. She seems much more comfortable in her character’s skin, but Sadie is so flavorless and nonspecific. When together the two handsome stars can’t make much out of this utterly disposable blockbuster. “Ghosted” is now streaming on Apple TV+.


12 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Ghosted” (2023)

  1. “Utterly disposable”….yes, let me cosign that description. It’s really bad, but everyone looked good so there’s that. I don’t know who is writing all these checks for these streaming blockbuster debacles but clearly they have money to burn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s