Starring: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, and Adrien Brody
Director: Dexter Fletcher
What starts off as something that can only be described as "if a Hallmark movie starred A-listers" quickly settles into being a generic action movie filled with clichés and set pieces that leave a lot to be desired. This thing is rough. Every character feels miscast, but Chris Evans as the needy hopeless romantic is the worst offender; meanwhile, Ana de Armas (who nailed a similar role in No Time to Die) gives one of her worst performances yet. Even the soundtrack choices feel out of place. The one thing it got right, however, is the title, as Ghosted is destined to be forgotten.
There isn’t likely to be another film released in the first half of the year that wastes its potential as thoroughly as Ghosted. An unfunny rom-com and spy thriller devoid of excitement, the indecisively-written film simply runs a paint-by-numbers gambit by letting Chris Evans and Ana de Armas – two powerhouse performers in their own right – lift all the weight of a two-pound dumbbell off its pages. Neither of their characters are in any way compelling, the action sequences are generic at best, and some truly terrible editing choices prevent what could have been disposable fun from being nothing but hollow noise.
Action-comedy romances are pretty much my new favorite genre, and Ghosted succeeds as the latest offering. The chemistry is believable and the cast is hot, but the jokes vary in quality. Unfortunately, the eye-candy nature of Chris Evans does make it difficult to buy his humble, everyman farmer-boy backstory, but his comedic presence makes up for it. The plot is simple and fun, but the antagonists are unnecessarily complicated, with Adrien Brody merely doing what he can to get through it. As for Ana de Armas? No notes. Sure, the film could have been better, but it's still an entertaining date-night popcorn flick.
Ghosted is by no means a good movie, playing like a lazy, gender-swapped version of Knight and Day; however, if you’re in the right mindset, it’s not entirely unwatchable either. That said, Ana de Armas and Chris Evans have zero chemistry, and the action sequences are pedestrian, at best. But most of all, Evans is simply miscast. Having Captain America play a clingy loser akin to Jon Favreau’s character in Swingers just doesn’t work. Still, the soundtrack is nice, there are some fun cameos, and as a person whose stateside home is D.C., it was cool to see my old ‘hood (Navy Yard) on screen.
There’s a five-minute sequence in Ghosted that works extremely well in its self-referential, hilarious satire. The rest of the film, however, isn’t intelligent enough to pull off parody, cute enough to pull off romance, or shot well enough to pull off action-comedy. I expected so much more from a Chris Evans/Ana de Armas-led romp directed by Dexter Fletcher. Evans and de Armas’ pre-existing Knives Out chemistry isn’t enough to overcome the cliché, poorly written script that Fletcher failed to salvage before phoning it in to the editor’s room. The music is kinda cool, though.
Ghosted is the kind of fake movie you’d see at the beginning of Tropic Thunder because nothing about it feels real. The script is an AI-generated minefield of lame jokes and undemanding plot points, and I never once felt this relationship was authentic. Kudos to Chris Evans and Ana de Armas for trying, but even they can’t make this script believable, while Dexter Fletcher directed this film with the look and vibe of a Hallmark film. I never once felt that this was the creation of a group of people passionate about a project over the lifeless drab it really is.
As cute and charming as Ghosted seems, director Dexter Fletcher couldn’t seem to crack the code with this action-packed rom-com. Ana de Armas and Chris Evan’s chemistry is the only thing that lifts this film up from the not-so-good screenplay. The script is honestly a HOT mess that seems to have had too many cooks in the kitchen (four male writers!). Sure, the movie has some sparks of fun, but just don't expect much more from it because there is a whole lot of mediocrity here.