'Ghosted' review: Ghost this movie
Courtesy of Apple TV+
Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, starring opposite each other for the third time, have never looked less engaged in their careers than with what’s happening throughout Dexter Fletcher’s globe-trotting espionage thriller “Ghosted.” Evans and Armas have starred in some of pop culture’s biggest movies, the latter was just nominated for an Oscar, and yet four screenwriters (yes, four!) couldn’t give the familiar duo anything remotely interesting to chew on. Instead, the likable actors are reduced to cheap bickering and lame action antics in the hopes audiences will be distracted enough on their phones to not change the channel.
For Apple TV+, they can at least sell a big budgeted “Romancing the Stone'' knockoff with two major stars in the hopes it lures subs, but at the end of the day you couldn’t convince me “Ghosted'' wasn’t made by ChatGPT. At one point, Evan’s character asks: “Who are these people?” To which Armas responds blankly: “Bad guys.” Not to mention the worst curation of needle drops in recent memory with everything from “My Sharona,” to “Uptown Funk,” making the cut.
Evan plays Cole (nicknamed by his parents, the little seen Tate Donovon and Amy Sedaris, “Coleslaw”) a dapper young farmer who just got out of a long-term relationship when he meets Sadie (Armas). After immediately picking a fight over whether or not she can keep a cactus alive, Cole makes a move. They hit it off, have a charming evening, and then hook up before she bounces overseas for what Cole thinks is related to her art dealer gig. When she stops answering his texts (hence the title “Ghosted”), Cole, who has never left the country before in his life, makes the spontaneous, romantic gesture of stalking her down in London because everyone and his parents believe the two have sexual tension. How can a farmer helping his parents afford such a last minute trip? He conveniently stashed away a plane voucher from a spring break trip ten years ago. I thought, dear reader, will the airline still honor it?
When he arrives in London, Cole is greeted by a swarm of heavily armed guards looking for someone they call “The Taxman” (and, yes, The Beatles iconic tune also makes a cringe needle drop). Of course, Cole isn’t this person and before a poorly accented Tim Blake Nelson tries killing him with a murder hornet, Sadie saves the day and Cole quickly realizes she’s a CIA operative on a top secret mission.
As they attempt to stop one of those doomsday devices, equipped with population shattering prowess, from falling into the wrong hands or, in the movie's case, Adrian Brody, their journey takes them to several exotic locations that were obviously filmed on a studio backlot. You have to wonder where all the money in these budgets go if not to shoot on location. The visuals in this movie are absolute hogwash and look pulled from Microsoft Movie Maker.
So with poor visuals, an odd soundtrack, and two lead stars who look this bored, where does that leave “Ghosted?” There is one inspired sequence that features a hitman Russian roulette of A-list cameos (people that Evans clearly had on speed dial), but if that’s the best four seasoned writers, Chris McKenna, Rhett Reese, Erik Sommers, and Paul Wernick, can muster on this scale, the future of big-budget streaming releases are bleak. Oh wait, they have been and “Ghosted,” like “Red Notice” before it, only continues the trend. Lucky for us, as opposed to the movie theater, all you need to do is find the off switch.
GHOSTED is now streaming on Apple TV+