Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 56m
Director(s): Dexter Fletcher
Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna
Cast: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Amy Sedaris, Tate Donovan, Mike Moh
Where To Watch: premiering on Apple TV+ April 21, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Dive headfirst into a whirlwind romance mixed with a bit of global espionage; GHOSTED introduces us to Cole (Chris Evans), who unexpectedly uncovers Sadie's (Ana de Armas) mysterious life as an undercover operative. As passion ignites between them, they find themselves entangled in a high-stakes mission to save the world.
While attempting to juggle romance, comedy, and action, the film tries to find that perfect blend. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels like a parody, while the next scene is a straight-laced spy thriller. Chris Evans and Ana de Armas share great on-screen chemistry (which is so meta that they even nod to it multiple times in the film,) but their characters suffer from underdevelopment. I wanted to know more about their pasts than the quick glossing over we got, which is ironic because the almost two-hour run-time felt too long. Despite these hiccups, their onscreen rapport keeps the movie engaging, bolstered by fun action scenes and even some comedy that hits the mark.
Unfortunately, Adrien Brody's villainous portrayal falls flat, don’t get me wrong, he makes an excellent villain but never felt threatening enough here. Director Dexter Fletcher had mixed results here; while I don’t know the leading cause, the final product was never a complete thought.
Initially, GHOSTED was meant to star the MCU duo of Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and this is more than evident with the constant display of MCU costars popping up throughout the film. I counted at least four familiar faces from the MCU (and one “future” MCU star.)
The film felt right at home with any modern-day movie; the “car chase” was fun. The film's primary appeal lies in the magnetic charisma of its lead actors, though. I would have liked to have seen a little more focus on the story itself; it almost felt like an amalgamation of several other films. Hindered at times by clichés and not having that “it” factor, the film's humor specifically struggle to make a lasting impression.
I saw some reviewers commenting on logic issues in the film, and that’s just silly. You don’t sit down for a movie like this and expect it to be filled with 100% nonstop logic. Films like this are meant to be enjoyed, and as a whole, that was accomplished.
The star power of Chris Evans and Ana de Armas may draw viewers in, but their undeniable chemistry and charm can only carry the film so far. Movies like this are why I have a 2.5-star rating; some people may see that and think I “hated” this, but in reality, as I’ve mentioned before, 2.5 stars is a film I didn’t love but didn’t hate either. It’s mathematically right in the middle. I’m not mad that I watched it, but I also don’t see myself rushing back to revisit it.
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[photo courtesy of APPLE TV+]