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Ghosted Review: Chris Evans And Ana De Armas Deserve Better

EDITORS' RATING : 5.5 / 10
  • Ana de Armas and Chris Evans are great
  • There are some fantastic cameos
  • The movie starts out funny but then becomes way too serious
  • There are some ridiculous cameos

We all wonder what it would be like to be a spy now and then. To be calm and collected in the face of danger, to improvise with certainty, to beat the bad guys — it's a tantalizing fantasy. But then we come to our senses and go about our day ... unless you're Cole (Chris Evans). Cole meets a nice girl named Sadie (Ana de Armas) who claims to be an art curator. So, when he learns she's gone to London after their first date, he gets on a plane to surprise her. But Sadie isn't there. Instead, he meets strange men who want to kill him if he doesn't give them a passcode. And this is just the beginning of his struggles.

"Ghosted" is built on the clash between Cole, a farmer who's never been out of the country, and Sadie, a CIA agent who's been, well, everywhere, and killed a whole lot of people. If you've seen a trailer for the movie, you're already prepared for this turn. But first, they have a really nice date. It's the kind of date where they start with coffee, move to dinner, talk all night, and then have sex before saying goodbye. So when Cole decides to surprise her in London, he isn't taking too big a risk — at least, not as far as he's concerned. (Sadie, on the other hand, is not as impressed, because of Cole's constant texting.) But then he ends up in the hands of people who want to kill him and is rescued by Sadie and a big gun. Needless to say, he has some questions.

The movie gets more ridiculous as Cole and Sadie bounce from one action sequence to the next. There's the bus in Pakistan where they're chased by bad guys, the private plane where they manage to escape three angry assassins, and the rotating restaurant in Washington D.C. where the final showdown happens. In between, we're hit with a lot of gobbledygook about a briefcase, a weapon, and various other shenanigans. It's entertaining, but "Ghosted" has a definite tonal problem, and no amount of CIA wetwork can fix it.

Are we laughing yet?

The biggest issue with "Ghosted" is that it starts off with a sweet and lightly funny first date, then fails to sustain the mood. Things gradually get more serious until there are barely any laughs at all. Chris Evans does his best to be the comic relief, but he can't help but show he's more competent than your average non-CIA agent. Whether he's shooting to give Ana de Armas cover or sliding down a mountain right next to her, he looks a little too good. Years as Captain America will do that, apparently. 

This would be forgivable if the movie let anyone besides Evans ever be funny, but no one really gets the chance. De Armas doesn't amuse much after the first half hour, which is solely focused on Sadie and Cole's first date. The goons they're up against and the feds they consult with don't have one humorous person in the bunch. That includes Adrien Brody, who plays a French outlaw who seems like he'd be good for at least a laugh or two. But he never delivers a line that could be deemed even slightly chuckle-worthy.

"Ghosted" tries to make up for this with cameos that spike the action. Three MCU vets and another famous actor offer some light comic banter in Pakistan, for example. These appearances offer a zap of pleasure from sheer recognition, but they also take you out of the movie. By the time Ryan Reynolds shows up for his cameo in the third act, it's too little too late. These cameos may have worked better had the rest of the movie been given more of a loosey-goosey vibe, but instead, they stand in contrast to most of what's happening.

A match made in ... ?

The other issue with "Ghosted" regards timing. Cole and Sadie have a fantastic first date, but Sadie is apparently so turned off by Cole's texting afterward that when they're reunited, she's no longer interested. In fact, she just wants to be rid of Cole as fast as possible. She makes her feelings crystal clear, and Cole, instead of taking the news like a gentleman, gives as good as he gets. Soon, the insults start flying. But then they escape to a desert island, and Cole compliments Sadie. They seem to be on good terms — until they end up at CIA headquarters and are bickering again. Then the final act comes, and the pair finally seems to be on the same page. Why? Who knows. They spend most of their time fighting the bad guys, not discussing their relationship.

Ultimately, these issues seem to be ones of direction more than anything else. Dexter Fletcher manages to stage some huge action sequences, but he forgets that his movie is also supposed to be a comedy and have some internal logic. So, while said action scenes are excellent, they have a lot less going for them in the context of the film as a whole. What results is more tonally confused than anything else: It starts off humorous and bright, but by the end, people are flying off buildings and being crushed by gears without a shred of comedy in sight. But hey, at least the leads are finally together for some reason.

Maybe if "Ghosted" had chopped up its timeline to show what happens later on, or even included a flash forward at the beginning to foreshadow where things are going, it wouldn't seem so abrupt. As it stands, though, the linear approach to the movie's timeline doesn't maximize the action or the funny factor. The first half hour is genuinely charming, and the parts in Pakistan are at least sporadically amusing, but the movie becomes less rewarding as time goes on. Ana de Armas and especially Chris Evans try their best, but "Ghosted" just doesn't live up to their performances. On the other hand, as a movie on Apple TV+ that you don't have to pay for, maybe it's just enough.

"Ghosted" arrives Friday, April 21 on Apple TV+.