TL;DR – While there is potential in the idea we have here, nothing seems to stick, becoming quite frustrating in places.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this film.
Ghosted Review –
When I come into a film, I try to avoid bringing outside baggage, namely any other opinions, with me before I start watching. My own experiences and thoughts, you can’t help them, but with others, that is something you can work on. However, every now and again, there comes a film that you simply cannot avoid the conversation because it permeates everywhere. Today we look at just such a film, and unfortunately for Ghosted, they did not help themselves with some of the most baffling promotion I have seen in a while.
So to set the scene, on the outskirts of Washington DC, Sadie (Ana de Armas) decided to ditch her therapy session and drive up to the mountains. In a small town, she comes across a farmers market where Cole (Chris Evans) is working, and it is love at first snark. When Cole would not sell Sadie a plant because she would probably kill it, they ended up having some fun together, a night together, and a big move. Followed by Sadie 100% ghosting her [insert title of film reference here]. But when Cole discovers Sadie is in London, he decides not to do the weird stalker thing, but the grand romantic gesture thing, travelling 5000 miles to say hello to the woman he has seen once, and he knows where they are because he accidentally put a tracker on her. But instead of that romantic moment, he is captured, knocked out by assailants, and then subjected to a little light torture.
As a central conceit, taking the best bit of True Lies when one of them is a spy and the other isn’t, gender-flipping it, and then turning that into the whole movie is an idea that could have worked. But the key thing about what worked in that film is that even at their worst, you knew there was a connection. However, you know you are in trouble from a screenwriting perspective when you need multiple characters to vocalise that your main characters have sexual tension that is quote ‘Off the charts”. Individually, the bumbling Chris Evans and the super-competent Ana de Armas works amazingly well. However, together there is zero chemistry, it is not as bad as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, but it is heading in that direction. It does not help that Cole is kind of a creep.
From a genre perspective, this movie is a crash of a spy film with a romantic comedy. This combination could have worked, but here feels like the two sides created friction rather than working together. The film never knows what tone to land on. Is it going to be menacing or funny? Are we in real trouble, or is this just a parade of fun cameos? Because the film is constantly in tension with itself, you never have a chance to sit in the story. This means that there is no chance for the film to build up any audience suspension of disbelief, to allow you to ignore things like there is no way that Cole on his first parachute could hold on to that heavy case and the limp body of the injured Sadie during freefall or why a truck with a long-range anti-vehicle cannon would go in for a close kill.
These two genres start to intersect in the action set pieces, which might be where the film reaches its highest point. The escape from the cave transitioning to a bus escape through the countryside was entertaining, as was the final confrontation. However, other production issues lingered. It felt like they did not spend enough time and money on the compositing in this film, with some truly awkward moments that you don’t expect in a movie like this. Some characters’ accents fluctuate during critical scenes. Do bullets shot near ears hurt of not, make up your mind film It is also deeply disappointing that the needle drops they add in often feel like just filler rather than working in the moment.
In the end, do we recommend Ghosted? Look, at best, it is inoffensive [though I think if you are from Pakistan, you might have a different view on that]. It felt like a paint-by-numbers script in all the worst ways that could have been something better with a bit more work in pre-production. If you liked Ghosted, we would recommend to you The Lost City.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Ghosted
Directed by – Dexter Fletcher
Screenplay by – Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
Story by – Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Music by – Lorne Balfe
Cinematography by – Salvatore Totino
Edited by – Chris Lebenzon, Jim May & Josh Schaeffer
Production/Distribution Companies – Apple Studios, Skydance & Apple TV+
Starring – Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Adrien Brody, Mike Moh, Tate Donovan, Amy Sedaris, Tim Blake Nelson, Marwan Kenzari, Anna Deavere Smith, Lizze Broadway, Mustafa Shakir, Tiya Sircar, Burn Gorman, Scott Vogel & Fahim Fazli with Anthony Mackie, John Cho, Sebastian Stan, Ryan Reynolds & Dexter Fletcher
Rating – Australia: M;