Ghosted Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
What happens when Knight and Day meets Killers in role reversal? The answer is a very unfunny action rom-com, with no chemistry.
Genre: Action / Comedy / Romance
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Cast: Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Adrien Brody, Mike Oh, Mustafa Shakir, Tim Blake Nelos, Lizzie Broadway, Amy Sedaris & Tate Donovan.
Run Time: 116 min.
US Release: 21 April 2023 (Apple TV+)
UK Release: 21 April 2023 (Apple TV+)
German Release: 21 April 2023 (Apple TV+)
So this one sneaked up on me. I had no idea it was being produced, didn’t read any news about it, nor did I see any trailers until it was released on Apple TV+. As a big fan of Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, I hoped to get at least a reasonable action-oriented romantic comedy. Unfortunately, just because you have two decent actors starring in lead roles, doesn’t mean the end product is good. Even more surprising is that it is directed by Dexter Fletcher, the man who gave us Eddie the Eagle, as well as Rocketman… Two fun, decent flicks. So, grab your inhalers, as we go shooting straight through my review for Ghosted!
Cole, a recently dumped vendor at a farmer’s market, meets Sadie, a lonely secret agent. After an amazing first date, Cole falls head over heels for the enigmatic young lady. Before they can decide on a second date, both get swept away on a mission to save the world.
The screenplay was written by four writers and it pretty much shows, as the narrative is all over the place. The premise offers nothing new, pretty much being an amalgamation of Knight & Day, role reversed with the awkward humour of 2010s Killers. While I actually enjoy the Tom Cruise flick as a guilty pleasure, the other assassin rom-com, starring the insufferable Kathrin Heigl, consisted of true garbage storytelling.
This is also Ghosted’s biggest flaw because, while the action segments are pretty solid, the writing is the worst. Clichéd tropes are being recycled once again, only gender-swapped this time around, yet it doesn’t make for very creative input. The complete story can be foreseen from a mile away, the charm is missing as a whole, the romance has no spark and the comedic elements fall completely flat. It is a movie made to be watched while doing some housework, as it doesn’t need the audience’s full attention.
The spy element depicted is just as banal. A typical good vs. bad plot, in which everything is either white or black. The primary conflict focuses on how spies cannot let their personal feelings get in the way of work, as well as the border of when affection becomes an obsession. That said, neither of the issues are really explored nor resolved. By the third act finale, they are basically just dropped. It is a prime example of how Hollywood sells toxic drama as true love.
The dialogues contain cheesy quotations, meant to sound romantic. Moral questions are brought up about what is considered to be amorous, versus what crosses over to stalking, as well as priorities that are to be set in a relationship. Jokes aren’t funny but fall into cringe territory.
Right out of the bat; Both leads have no real chemistry, the closest they come to having some, is when they are arguing at the beginning.
Ana de Armas plays Sadie Rhodes, a CIA Agent who finds herself at a crossroad regarding her life. She wants more intimacy, just like stability that her job can’t offer her. Sadly, Sadie comes off as unlikeable. Not even the great Ana de Armas can elevate the poorly written character, who has nothing more to offer than looks plus the capability to kick butt. The actress does sell her physicality during combat segments, however, Sadie herself is depicted as a loose girl, who jumps with many of her colleagues into the sack, then suffering limb losses, as she dumps them in deadly situations for the “greater good”.
Chris Evans portrays de Armas' love interest Cole Tucker, a vendor at a farmer’s market in Washington D.C. The character is near insufferable, as his needy persona stalks girls he likes, to other countries. Yet the film sells it off as spontaneous since he is hot. Evans doesn’t even try to infuse his character with a charming personality, he is simply in for the money. Unfortunate, as he proved in a sling of different features that he is capable of so much more. Cole’s skewered view of love represents everything that is wrong with the depiction of romance in Hollywood.
As to why Adrian Brody accepted the role of the villainous arms dealer Leveque, is beyond me. This feels very much like a pay-cheque performance, where the actor is just doing his job for monetary reasons, without passion or intrigue. The villain comes off as one-dimensional, as motivations aren’t really explored.
Then there is a sling of cameos, by Anthony Mackie, John Cho, Sebastian Stan and Ryan Reynolds, which come off as a desperate attempt to entice viewers. Worse is the fact that those scenes contain the best comedic moments.
The camera work is hit-and-miss. While hand-to-hand combat is captured mostly well, with de Armas giving solid choreography in battle, much of it is cut to pieces in the editing room. The complete imagery is overlit, the tint is partially desaturated, with colours plus wardrobe generally using mostly olive greens, beige, brown or greys. It is a dull-looking movie, reflecting its boring narrative!
The bigger action sequences are filled to the brim with bad CGI effects. Then there are the very obvious green-screen segments, trying to sell that the two leads are either in a cave in Afghanistan or on a tropical island. In short, the special effects are garbage!
The score, composed by Lorne Balfe, makes it barely into the feature, not that it was particularly noticeable. The laziness of this premise is reflected in the soundtrack, which relies mostly on pop hits that sing about the happenings on screen.
Verdict: This is once again a generic, lazily produced Hollywood romantic-comedy, with a few action sequences to build up the pacing. The concept is nothing new, having already seen two similar flicks back in 2010, that did bomb at the box office. Jumping forward thirteen years; Skydance studios together with a writing team of four, took the action sequences of the better picture, the terrible romance plus comedy of the other film and threw it all in a blender. The only innovation made is that they reversed the roles of the sexy, yet sentimentally cold spy, and of the emotionally needy civilian. Ana de Armas, who does sell her action stunts, has no sort of onscreen chemistry with her acting partner Chris Evans, who although playing a civilian is great with guns. The cinematography is a mixed bag, the editing chops up the action and the effects look fake. Even the music is lazy, trying to tell audiences what to feel. In the end, this action rom-com doesn’t deserve more than a 4.0 out of 10.
I do not recommend wasting your time on this! Should you have seen Ghosted already, what are your thoughts on it? Leave a comment below to let me know & as always, thank you for reading!