Ghosted review: Ana de Armas and Chris Evans fizzle in lackluster action-comedy

Ghosted, now streaming on AppleTV+, earns its title by leaving a lasting impression, albeit for all the wrong reasons, as it squanders its remarkable cast in a forgettable storyline.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher, known for his work on Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, Ghosted aims to blend elements of fish-out-of-water comedy with thrilling action sequences akin to Spy and The Spy Who Dumped Me. The film follows the unlikely pairing of farmer Cole Turner, portrayed by Chris Evans, and CIA agent Sadie Rhodes, played by Ana de Armas. Their chance encounter, sparked by a meet-cute over a cactus, quickly escalates into a romantic escapade. However, their budding relationship takes a drastic turn when Cole’s romantic gesture inadvertently entangles them in a perilous plot involving bio-weapons and global espionage.

Ghosted

In a familiar narrative trope, Sadie’s adversaries mistakenly capture Cole, believing him to be the elusive “Tax Man,” a nickname assigned to Sadie by arms dealers and criminals. Caught off guard and clueless about the situation, Cole finds himself subjected to torture, gunfire, and involuntary globetrotting, all while trying to comprehend the chaos unfolding around him.

The premise of witnessing Chris Evans, renowned for his heroic roles in the MCU, stumble through action sequences is intriguing. However, this novelty fails to deliver, as Cole demonstrates unexpected competence in navigating the dangerous predicaments he faces. Despite the film’s abundance of action-packed sequences—a mountainous car chase in Pakistan, a mid-air shootout, and a showdown in a revolving restaurant—they lack the freshness and excitement found in franchises like Mission: Impossible and James Bond.

Director Dexter Fletcher’s trademark grandiose style falls short in Ghosted, resulting in a predictable and lackluster cinematic experience. Moreover, the film suffers from a lack of chemistry between Evans and Ana de Armas, who fail to recapture the electric dynamic they shared in Knives Out. Their attempts at flirtatious banter feel forced and devoid of genuine connection, leaving the audience unconvinced by their supposed romantic chemistry. Throughout the film, their exchanges come across as more exasperating than alluring, failing to ignite the sparks necessary for a compelling on-screen romance.

Ghosted

In a whirlwind of cameo appearances, Ghosted manages to muster some entertainment, yet it’s disheartening when the most captivating chemistry arises from a fleeting reunion between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. The reliance on cameos shouldn’t dictate a film’s success or failure.

It’s regrettable because both Chris Evans and Ana de Armas possess genuine talent. Evans deserves a romantic comedy that truly showcases his charisma, rather than one that forces him into awkward jokes and contrived scenarios to build chemistry.

On the other hand, de Armas’ performance feels wooden and uninspired. Despite her proven acting prowess in films like Knives Out and Blonde, she struggles to shine in Ghosted. Hindered by an ill-fitting wig and a character lacking depth beyond her spy skills, she fails to ignite any spark with Evans.

Adrien Brody’s portrayal of villain Leveque falls flat as well. His attempt at a French accent comes across as half-hearted, mirroring his disinterested demeanor throughout the film. Brody’s considerable talents are squandered, especially considering his past portrayals of morally complex characters with flair and enthusiasm.

Ghosted

Ghosted appears promising on paper: two attractive leads embarking on a perilous journey around the world, engaging in witty banter along the way. However, Dexter Fletcher’s direction and the script, penned by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers, fail to capitalize on the potential of their talented cast.

I’d find more enjoyment watching a looped GIF of Chris Evans splitting a log than enduring the entirety of Ghosted. Despite the film’s promising elements, it falls flat, lacking the necessary ingredients to make it anything more than a mundane and forgettable experience.

 

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