Review: ‘Ghosted’ Navigates Modern Dating and Espionage
"I let my emotions cloud my judgment."
Boy meets girl at a farmers market. Girl flirts with boy, but boy is too oblivious to know it. When said boy figures it out, he asks girl on a coffee date. Over 24 hours, one thing leads to another, he sweet-talks her into bed, and the two spend a delightful evening together.
Then the unthinkable happens: she ghosts him, doesn't return his cutesy texts, and he gets the sickening feeling he will never see her again. Yet, he tracks her down in London like a maverick stalker, only to discover that she's a CIA agent. Shenanigans transpire, and the new couple becomes the key to saving the world.
Typical first date stuff, clearly. But that is the case with "Ghosted," the newest action romantic comedy from director Dexter Fletcher ("Rocketman"). Chris Evans and Ana de Armas star as the impossibly seductive duo caught up in a global espionage scheme that pits the good guys against the bad. Evans' Cole is a daft farmer who has never stepped foot outside of the United States, while Armas' Sadie is a secret agent with emotional unavailability issues. The two are initially drawn to one another until the needy Cole gets swept up in Sadie's adventurous profession.
"Ghosted" attempts to take modern dating to an elevated level by incorporating the action spirit of James Cameron's "True Lies" and makes it a bit creepy. The attractive leads easily handle a wonky script, but Cole's aw-shucks routine of stubbornness mixed with charm tends to get old as the film progresses. Despite appearances, Cole is desperate for love and wears his hopeless romantic intentions on his sleeve, but Sadie is just not that into him. Not taking the hint, his efforts are often at odds with her unforgiving personality until the two learn to sync up in order to achieve the goals of their "mission."
Ana de Armas and Chris Evans have tangled together in more intriguing films like "Knives Out" and "The Gray Man," but this time around, the pairing just doesn't work. To make audiences believe that Evans' character is an unsuspecting down-home farmer is a stretch, but then to have him battling the world's best spies and assassins with the combat moves of a Marvel superhero is simply absurd. Armas does a decent job of blending the action-adventure spirit of Sadie with the wit she possessed in "No Time to Die," but it is wasted in a movie hellbent on flash over substance.
The action sequences in "Ghosted" are well crafted by Fletcher, even if the climax itself is a flashy comedy of errors. The supporting players could have been better given more screen time, with Adrien Brody as the main villain, Tim Blake Nelson, Amy Sedaris, Tate Donovan, and a surprisingly quick A-list cameo rounding out the film's cast. Exotic locations, a well-matched soundtrack, and glamourous lead actors help make the movie watchable.
I can't help but think that if "Ghosted" had been released in theaters, would it have been better? There is something to be said for enjoying a good action comedy with strangers, laughing together while the suspense of fight scenes keeps everyone on the edge of their seats. While hijinks ensued practically 20 minutes into the movie, I found myself rolling my eyes at times. But if I wasn't streaming the film on AppleTV+, and I was enjoying a tub of popcorn watching a decently entertaining flick…maybe "Ghosted" would have resonated a bit more like "True Lies" rather than just another forgettable romantic comedy action adventure.
Ticket Rating: 🎟🎟🎟