Rolling out high-star-powered action comedies seems to be all too common amongst streaming platforms. After Red Notice came and went, a few others have surfaced in the past two years. This week’s release Ghosted, starring Chris Evans and Ana De Armas, attempts to break through a busy weekend at the box office. However, by dropping straight to streaming and showing a very famous cast, there’s hope it will find its audience. Instead, Ghosted burns through its talent and never rises above mediocrity.
After getting into an argument at a farmers market, Cole (Evans) asks Sadie (De Armas) out for a coffee. After an incredible date night, Cole does not hear from her for days. When he discovers she’s in London, he decides to surprise her with a romantic gesture. Instead, he becomes caught up in international espionage around a bio-weapon.
It can be fun when movies acknowledge their cheesiness from the start. Yet Ghosted brings a unique blend of seemingly conflicting jokes at every turn. At times, it wants to be an earnest rom-com with action elements. At other moments, it wants to be a spy thriller. It never settles on either and suffers from tonal shifts as a result.
While clearly looking to borrow the tone of True Lies, Ghosted refuses to commit to that film’s central bit. It’s a shame because there are plenty of jokes to be had at both Evan’s and De Armas’ expense. Yet the strongest material we get revolves around emojis and characters receiving too many texts.
Both Evans and De Armas coast through the film. Their chemistry is off, which does the film few favors. Unlike other rom-coms, Ghosted does not suffer form a sexless plot, but it might as well have had one. Rather than communicate actual sexual tension, the movie just has characters tell us it it exists. This is not only unconvincing but also tries to inject humor into the story. Again, it misses the mark, and instead gives the impression Ghosted needs to sell you that it’s working. Good romance movies do not need to do that.
The real tell about Ghosted comes in the half dozen celebrity cameos in the movie. These manufactured moments are only there to get the audience excited. None of them serve a narrative purpose, and they are not actually funny. Good for the actors (who we will leave unspoiled) to cash a paycheck, but it further speaks to the lack of believe in Ghosted’s central relationship.
It’s possible audiences will enjoy themselves during Ghosted. It seems unlikely most who watch it will remember they had by next week. A forgettable and ultimately unrewarding experience, Ghosted feels too plug and play to have any personality. It’s easily one of the years most disappointing films.