After two hours of little comedy, romance, and confusing action, you’ll wish you would have ghosted this movie after seeing it.


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Director(s) Dexter Fletcher
Screenplay By Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers
Based On N/A
Date Released (Apple TV Plus) April 21, 2023
Genre(s) Action

Comedy

Romance

Duration 1 hr, 56 mins
Content Rating PG-13
Noted Cast
Cole Turner Chris Evans
Sadie Rhodes Ana de Armas
Leveque Adrien Brody
Wagner Mike Moh

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Film Summary

Chris Pine and Ana de Armas star as Cole and Sadie, two people who meet at a farmer’s market and decide to go on a first date. The only problem for Cole is that Sadie is a secret agent. The silly premise has action, romance, humor, and you could hear the studio execs salivating over having movie stars and a premise that attracts a wide range of demographics. But by trying to appeal to everyone, the movie pleases no one.

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What happened? Somehow, a movie with a fine cast, crew, writers, and director ended up being devoid of personality, wit, and fun. Having four different screenplay writers is never a good sign, but they each have a successful history of blending genres. But from the start, with a title like “Ghosted” that has no strong connection to the movie, you know you have a problem. That problem is confirmed in the first 10 minutes of the movie when it feels like you’re watching a trailer for the movie because they manage to fit in four different songs to try to establish a light, fun tone.

But let’s focus on the actual plot summary, which is one ridiculous beat after another. First, Cole and Sadie meet when Sadie wants to buy a plant from him at the farmer’s market. But Sadie doesn’t want a plant that she has to water or feed, but just one she can leave alone for months on end. Evans’ Cole remarks, “Why do you want a plant if you’re never home?” Yeah. Exactly. And while I see the metaphor for how Sadie most likely handles relationships, I wonder if there wasn’t a more natural way the two could meet besides Sadie going up to a man for a product that she doesn’t want. They fight over this and somehow end up on a date.

On the date, Cole loses in a stair-running contest he challenged her to, and he rejects doing karaoke (and therefore, rejects doing a potentially funny scene), but Sadie is smitten by this man’s lack of fun and weird competitions, so they have sex. After their one date, Cole became obsessed with her. He sends her twenty texts with no response and realizes he left his inhaler in her purse. His inhaler apparently has a tracker, and because of his inhaler tracker, he sees that Sadie is in London. So he decides to go to London to surprise her. This bizarre sequence of events is the funniest part of the movie, and I can’t tell if it was intentional.

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Cole is kidnapped by bad guys who are actually trying to find Sadie. But Sadie comes to his rescue by killing a bunch of bad guys (which Cole doesn’t seem to really mind), and only then does Cole realize Sadie is a secret agent. There’s a fun scene of Chris Evans and Ana de Armas yelling at each other as Sadie tries to escape the bad guys by driving backwards downhill. But the rest of the film is weighed down by the same argument the two have in the middle of many unfunny action scenes, with a villain that’s not funny, that climaxes into a confusing CGI-mush ending. Apple TV + adopted Netflix’s plan of big movie stars in unmemorable movies. Like an AI-written script, there’s little romance, little comedy, and plenty of uninspiring scenes to be had in “Ghosted.”

Things To Note

Why “Ghosted” Is Rated PG-13

  • Dialogue: N/A
  • Violence: Moderate violence of gunshots, hits, and crashes, but nothing gory.
  • Sexual Content: One brief and mild scene of Cole and Sadie having sex.
  • Miscellaneous: N/A

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Do people know when they’re involved in a bad movie?

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Cole

A thirty-something farmer who lives with his parents and immediately falls in love with any girl he dates. Cole is knowledgeable about plants, and how to be a creepy boyfriend, both traits come in handy when he falls into Sadie’s secret agent world.

Sadie

As a secret agent who just doesn’t have time to settle down or fall in love, Sadie is constantly on the move after her partner dies in a mission gone wrong. When she’s not spending time murdering people, she wishes to spend time murdering plants.

Leveque

The classic bad guy with a vaguely Eastern European accent and even more vague threats. He’s there to stand and look menacing as he orders his henchmen around.

Wagner

Leveque’s henchman who takes his work life too personally and makes it his mission to murder Cole and Sadie.

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Review

Our Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)

Notable Performances or Moments

For the brief time they have on screen, Lizze Broadway as Cole’s sister, is the only logical character in the film, and Tiya Sircar, as Patti, is a small delight with a bit of physical comedy as the lie detector.

Low Points

Actively Avoids Humor

Why isn’t anyone allowed to be funny in this movie? Any small, potentially funny character (the plant boss, the sister, the lie detector) has a minute of screen time and is replaced for the film’s energy to be sucked up by long plot explanations by very serious characters. Adrien Brody can do comedy, Tim Blake Nelson can do comedy, and Amy Sedaris is a sketch comedy treasure, but these characters are wasted on cliches. By trying to balance too many genres, the film does a disservice to all of them.

Editing That Feels Like a 2-Hour Commercial with Muddled Action

From the first drone-sky footage through countless music montages, “Ghosted” feels like it was hastily assembled and doesn’t resemble a movie but instead a 2-hour commercial. Its scenes range from car ads to pharmaceutical ads to cologne ads. While the story is comprehensive, the jokes or the right momentum for a light-hearted tone were cut out. Furthermore, the action scenes we get rarely show the actors’ faces and are quick cuts of guys falling over after being shot. If you’re not laughing during the dialogue, you’re checking your phone during the action scenes.

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On The Fence

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas are Questionable Leads with Little Chemistry

Evans and de Armas are pretty people that act fine in the movie, but because there’s so much star power behind their names, I was distracted by wondering, “What if an actual comedian played Evans’ role? What if a skilled martial artist played de Armas’ character?” They’re both commonly the straight, stock characters in films, and they continue to be the same here, but there’s stiffness in their lines that restrains the romance aspect from soaring.

Cameos are Cheap Thrills

There are two scenes with high-profile celebrity cameos. The scenes with these people are less than 30 seconds long, but they do actually attempt comedy. Just as we’re about to enjoy the person, they’re on to the next cameo. The cameos then become distracting and follow a current movie trend to include at least one secret cameo just for a clickbait article about the movie in the future.

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Ghosted (2023) – Movie Review with Spoilers
Overall
While the premise is silly, the movie is often stagnant with questionable choices in dialogue, acting, and editing throughout.
Highlights
Disputable
Actively Avoids the Humor and Romance of Its Premise
Editing Feels Like a 2-Hour Commercial
Questionable Cast as Leads
Cameos Serve for Cheap Thrills
60

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