June 5, 2023
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Life & Culture

Review: Action comedy is a complete waste of time


Apple TV+

Over the last few years, a trend has popped up in Hollywood where some of the most generic films are being made with well-known and popular actors set to star in order to entice audiences. While films of this sort, like “Red Notice” (2021) and “Bullet Train” (2022) have their charms and are enjoyable enough, the same cannot be said for Apple TV+’s “Ghosted.”

Not only is “Ghosted” a terrible film on its own, but it is the poster child for everything that is wrong with the action and romantic-comedy genres today.

When Cole (Chris Evans), a farmer afraid of stepping out of his comfort zone, meets Sadie (Ana de Armas), he becomes attached too quickly. After sending her an alarming number of unanswered texts, he believes that Sadie has “ghosted” him. Unwilling to allow the woman of his dreams to escape his grasp, Cole tracks Sadie down to London, where he is immediately captured by thugs and rescued by Sadie, who turns out to be a CIA agent.

Setting the familiar plot that has been done better in films like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” (2005) and “True Lies” (1994) aside, if “Ghosted” had actors who were able to display a shred of chemistry on screen, it could have possibly salvaged an ounce of success. However, Evans and de Armas are bafflingly awful together. As viewers watch the film, they may feel confused by the lack of chemistry between the two actors, considering that they were terrific together when they both starred in “Knives Out” (2019). At times in “Ghosted,” it seems that the two are not even comfortable being near each other.

The only logical explanation that would account for the way the actors in “Ghosted” seem to be on different planets at times is horrible direction. It is confounding how Dexter Fletcher, the director behind incredible and visually-stunning films like “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018) and “Rocketman” (2019) can create something that feels so artificial. There is nothing in “Ghosted” that stands out. Everything looks and feels fake to the point that the film occasionally seems like it was meant to be a parody of itself.

If not Fletcher or its stars, the biggest culprits behind the film’s failure would have to be the small army of writers behind its eye-rollingly pathetic screenplay. Each of the four writers has delivered great work in the past, like the “Deadpool” (2016) films and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021). Nevertheless, it is rarely ever a good thing to have too many cooks in the kitchen. It is unfortunate and all the more annoying that the screenplay for “Ghosted” is so foul that people online have made the accurate joke that it feels like the film was written by AI. Nothing that any of the characters say feels natural, and again, it does not help that the lines are delivered through weak performances. 

Much like the films mentioned at the beginning of this review, “Ghosted” is also littered with random celebrity cameos from big-name actors. Luckily, these cameos offer a break from Evans and de Armas being the main focuses of attention. One sequence sees Cole and Sadie getting captured by various bounty hunters who quickly dispatch themselves to secure the valuable bounties for themselves. The scene is funny in its execution and the placement of cameos adds an extra element of surprise, making it easily the best part of the film.

Aside from one fun enough car chase that sees the two main characters escaping from a scene on a bus, the action is uninteresting. “Ghosted” also does not do itself any favors by setting several of its action scenes to horrible licensed music rather than using its bland score. The film’s use of “Uptown Funk” in particular during the concluding action sequence is infuriating. If the film leaned on its score by Grammy-winning composer Lorne Balfe instead, it may have had a better chance of standing out.

“Ghosted” tries so desperately to shove charm and fun down viewers’ throats that it fails miserably in providing either. It does not work as an action-comedy or as a romantic comedy, leaving fans of both of its main stars uninterested in seeing either of them in a film again anytime soon. It is a failure and a waste of time that is not even worth keeping on in the background while completing life’s most mundane tasks.

Evan Miller can be reached at emiller11@ithaca.edu