Ghosted review, It’s easy to see the commercial allure of Apple’s pre-summer mockbuster Ghosted in the package: a catchy buzzword title, an idea from the Deadpool team that was later developed by some Marvel writers, a big, sexy star pairing proven on-screen twice before, and an action-comedy-romance hybrid intended to appeal to the broadest audience. When it was given the go-ahead, one can only imagine the ecstatic high-fives that took place in some cold, sterile LA boardroom. However, it is completely impossible to understand the appeal of Ghosted, the film—a staggeringly, infuriatingly awful collection of increasingly stupid choices that will serve as depressing documentation of how bad things actually got in the current oversaturated streaming landscape
Ghosted is an industry-shaming example of algorithm-driven content that is so haphazardly and lifelessly pieced together that we’re tempted to think it’s the first movie entirely made by AI. It’s so horrifyingly bad that it almost qualifies as avant-garde. It was made with utter disregard for standard movie fare and is completely abysmally haphazard. A guy gets ghosted by a woman who turns out to be a secret agent is the smug elevator pitch over plot, and while the early inevitable trailer scenes that lead us to the end of this logline are bad enough, they’re nowhere near as bad as what comes next. Chris Evans portrays Cole, a farmer turned history professor turned plant nut who meets Sadie, the enigmatic art curator played by Ana de Armas.
After she ghosts Cole, he oddly decides to find her, and spooky departs for London on a plane after unintentionally leaving a tracking device on her person or something. She is as disturbed by his actions as we are, but when her true profession is made known and the two are forced to flee, she is compelled to defend him.
No one expects or really wants anything to take place in the real world when dealing with heightened material like this, but there’s something so uncomfortably, almost creepily, synthetic about every single frame of Ghosted—from the awkwardly robotic dialogue to the uncomfortable asexual central couple to some shockingly poor green-screen work—that we still don’t want it to be contained within a low-quality simulation (it’s the rare Apple movie that looks like a Netflix original). Dexter Fletcher, an actor-director, has had a strange blip, stumbling from the Elton John biopic Rocketman into the underbelly of big-budget anonymity. His film seems to have been produced more by a committee of uninterested tech executives than by anyone even remotely knowledgeable about the entertainment industry.
There are eye-rollingly unfunny asides inserted between embarrassingly out-of-date action sequences with songs like Are You Gonna Be My Girl?, My Sharona, and, groan, Uptown Funk loudly blasted over sloppy editing and laborious choreography, as if a computer was asked to remake Mr. and Mrs. Smith for Tubi.
Although the notion that the movie star is dead has been greatly exaggerated, the pairing of Evans and Armas (previously seen in Knives Out and The Gray Man) is so utterly miscast that it does cause one to seriously consider what the industry currently considers a star to be and what we, the audience, are expected to accept from them.
It’s as actively uncomfortable for us as it seems to be for them, similar to last year’s similarly awful Red Notice, in which Ryan Reynolds, The Rock, and Gal Gadot competed to see who could be the least charismatic actor on screen (a scene of the pair kissing on a beach is so glumly reticent that it seems as though it was performed at gunpoint). They don’t have much to work with in the ChatGPT-level script (“You thought you met a hottie, not a Mata Hari!” is an almost impressively heinous attempt at a zinger), but well-paid stars of this caliber ought to be able to provide more of an uplift; they’re stilted when they ought to be sleek.
It just seems like pure, cold paycheque work, clocked in and checked out, like everyone else in the movie (including poor Amy Sedaris, stuck playing a stock photo mom who becomes sentient, and Adrien Brody as a ridiculously accented French villain). Why on earth should we care if they don’t seem to?