Ghosted (2023)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/4/23
Cast: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Mike Moh, Lizze Broadway, cameos by Anthony Mackie, John Cho, Sebastian Stan, Ryan Reynolds

Sadie Rhodes (Ana de Armas) is a CIA agent who is working to retrieve a biological weapon that's being sold on the black market. She's emotionally vulnerable due to the recent death of a friend, and a chance meeting with an affable Cole Turner (Chris Evans) at a farmers market turns into a romantic day of bliss. Unfortunately, Sadie disappears on a mission the next day and the overly clingy and emotionally needy Cole blows up her phone with text messages, ensuring that she'll never respond. However, it just so happens that he accidentally left an Apple Airtag in her backpack, so in a grand romantic gesture, Cole decides to track Sadie down in London, which results in him being mistaken for "The Taxman," one of the CIA's most notorious assassins. Sadie manages to rescue him in the nick of time, and then it's up to the two of them to save the world from a group of terrorists led by Adrien Brody.

Unfortunately, the film squanders its talents by putting the two leads into a toxic relationship and making neither one of them particularly likable. This in itself is quite a feat, since both Chris Evans and Ana de Armas are so immensely charming. However, it's a non-stop cringe-fest as you watch Sadie and Cole desperately try to make their doomed trainwreck of a relationship work out, which makes you wonder what the filmmakers were thinking. I'm a big fan of Ana de Armas, but unless you enjoy watching her and Chris Evans bicker and yell at each other for an hour, I really can't recommend it. It's definitely more of a romantic comedy than an action film, which is a shame. That said, the action pieces tend to be weak and uninteresting, and often border on the absurd. Intrusive and unconvincing CGI is a constant distraction, and the blatantly gratuitous Apple product placement leaves a bad taste (not surprising, since it's an Apple TV production). Given the star power involved, I was surprised this didn't get a theatrical release, but after watching the film, I understand why. Even so, Ana de Armas gives an excellent performance and fully dedicates herself to her action scenes. She's fun to watch, even if the choreography and editing are sub par. Chris Evans also does a good job with his action scenes, but as much as you want to like him, his character consistently goes out of the way to be a jerk.

The writing is arguably the film's greatest liability, and most of the film's attempts at humor are awkward and fall flat. Admittedly, the cameos by Anthony Mackie, John Cho, and Sebastian Stan are quite funny, but Ryan Reynolds unfortunately runs the gag into the ground, derailing a major set piece in the process. The soundtrack is also regrettably awful, and its attempts to make the film more hip backfire and have the opposite effect. Ultimately, "Ghosted" is a light and fizzy affair that's instantly forgettable.