Farmer Cole believes he found the love of his life after a romantic meet-cute with the enigmatic Sadie. When embarking on a cross-continent trip to surprise her, Cole is in for a shock when he discovers Sadie is a world-class super spy in AppleTV+'s latest project, Ghosted.
A globetrotting caper featuring the talents of Chris Evans and Ana Armas seems like a good gamble on paper. Like every streaming service, AppleTV+ continues its diligent focus on distinguishing a unique brand amidst a crowded marketplace. So far, they have struck gold in their efforts. AppleTV's focus on quality over quantity allows the streaming service to curate a boutique of projects with more creative vigor than its competitors. Engrossing TV shows, such as Ted Lasso, Servent and After Party, have quickly developed into fan favorites. At the same time, their film empire has already garnered a coveted Best Picture Oscar with the 2021 release, CODA.
Despite their successes, Ghosted lands as AppleTV+'s most uninspired project to date. This listless and charm-free endeavor resonates as a tired retread of far superior films.
Ghosted, like many other straight-to-streaming efforts, barely even registers as a real movie. There is a clear narrative hook that boasts promise, a sizable enough budget to indulge in blockbuster spectacle and the dynamic talents of an assured cast. While these elements may seem like a sturdy foundation, Ghosted executes each facet with oppressive banality. The film feels like a tired exercise that no one involved truly cares about. I credit the filmmaking team for collecting an easy paycheck with their efforts, but they all unfortunately waste two hours of viewers' time in the process.
The lack of enthusiasm is apparent from jump street. Focusing on an odd couple thrust on a mission with world-altering steaks is a familiar yet reliable enough source for easy-going entertainment (Knight and Day and Spy successfully utilized a similar premise). In the hands of director Dexter Fletcher, Ghosted struggles to achieve any semblance of creative competency. Fletcher's film dawns the look of a standard-issue TV sitcom, capturing loud action setpieces and subdued conversations with the same lack of energy. It is hard even to fathom how a $90 million movie of this scale could look so cheap and uninteresting.
The screenwriting team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick also flounder in capturing the premise's potential. Both writers infuse little energy into their efforts, creating a tired narrative bolstered by formulaic cliches and half-baked plot MacGuffins. Flatlining attempts at conjuring some semblance of humor fall significantly by the wayside, while an unattentive eye toward character-building leaves each role feeling like an empty husk begging for more personality.
Not even the cast can mend the screenplay's broken qualities. Evans and de Armas exude personality and presence with almost every role they embody, which makes their ineffectiveness here a particular shock. Neither actor appears on the same wavelength of chemistry, tossing out goofy one-liners and overwrought romantic platitudes without genuine conviction. I have a hard time recalling a romantic pair onscreen that has felt this distant from one another. Still, it's hard to blame them exclusively when they are stuck propping up a sinking ship of a movie. Adrien Brody, Tim Blake Nelson and a slew of star-studded cameos are similarly wasted throughout the runtime.
My advice for viewers is simple; you should ghost Ghosted. The tedious offering joins a lengthy list of straight-to-streaming films that come off as bargain bin rip-offs for their big-screen counterparts.
Ghosted is now playing on AppleTV+.