'Ghosted' Review: Romance Might End Up Dead When Ana De Armas & Chris Evans Try To Avoid Bullets
Why not pretend like there's a fun little anecdote here about a movie because sometimes one just doesn't deserve that kind of wit. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Hollywood's laptop army consisting of Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, romantic action-adventure Ghosted is here trying to perform CPR on one of the streaming service's algorithms. Chris Evans plays Cole Turner, a farmer eventually turned into a captive after he meets Sadie Rhodes (Ana de Armas) who turns out to not be the art curator she claims to be as it's revealed that she's a CIA spy when Cole follows her to London after they spend a single night together. Sadie then must save him from captors who are working for the movie's stock villain Leveque (Adrien Brody) whom she is tracking down.
The first major warning sign with Ghosted is that it never manages to make any of its genres be more than just keywords on its landing page. Romance might be dead after all if the dreadful screenplay has a say, making Cole and Sadie's connection outright cringey since it's established with awful humour that lacks any kind of edge, banter that fits your interactions with your first crush as a 7-year-old and characterisations that make Cole appear as creepy and weirdly sexless, something the writers avoid confronting later as well. Even the adventure elements feel tacky as locations are merely backdrops for that toothless banter and stunt sequences that never invoke danger, though de Armas and stunt performers at least try to make some scenes entertaining and decently performed.
Those moments where some effort is shown are few and far between, Claude Paré's production design sometimes driving the story like with a final act's big set piece when Fletcher also seems to show up to see what's cooking. Otherwise Ghosted is unintelligent, miserably rotten experience as three of the credited editors, Chris Lebenzon, Jim May and Josh Schaeffer probably would've been wise to remove their names since even every dialogue-heavy scene has been cut to shreds, making no sense in terms of staging, rhythm or what ''fixes'' were attempted to achieve with ADR. None if it has anything valuable to say or contribute, including Lorne Balfe's sleep-inducing score or bunch of pointless cameos that are there only to serve one's shallow knowledge of other blockbusters that Ghosted is trying to emulate.
Crowning the achievement of making desultory decisions for the sake of ''content'' is the film's soundtrack compiled by a first-time Spotify user, Fletcher, music supervisor Randall Poster, a bunch of producers in clown suits and, who knows, possibly contract obligations of a pop superstar who's starring in an upcoming film by the streamer. All the songs are fittingly so inconsequential that you can see right through them; if anyone suggests this as a date movie, you should definitely ghost that person.
Smileys: Production design (sometimes)
Frowneys: Screenplay, soundtrack, editing, humour, originality
Blocked and muted.