Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram | Facebook)

How can someone who travels so much that they can only have cactus as a house plant, successfully date somebody who is constantly dumped for being too clingy and needy? By being an imaginary couple in a Hollywood romantic action comedy!

Ana De Armas plays top spy Sadie in “Ghosted”, who’s having a bit on an existential crisis due to her lonely life and thinks getting a low maintenance plant might add a homely touch to her cold sad house. She meets the charming farmer Cole Turner at the farmer’s market and the two end up going on a very memorable date. When Sadie doesn’t respond to his texts for days, Cole flies out of the country to surprise Sadie as a ‘grand gesture’, only to get swept up in a dangerous deathly adventure, as Sadie turns out to be a spy wanted by global criminals.  

Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Chris McKenna, “Ghosted” starts off like a nice modern romantic comedy, sweetened by Chris Evans and Ana De Armas’ chemistry as the duo make a cute onscreen pair in “Ghosted”. This is their second action flick together after “The Gray Man” and they also starred in the murder mystery flick “Knives Out”, but it’s the first time they’ve been cast as romantic leads together. Although, it’s easy to see how Scarlett Johansson, who was the first choice for “Ghosted” creators to play Sadie, might’ve made a grittier action lead. Chris Evans has been striving not to become synonymous with his “Captain America” role, and what better way to subvert that image than by portraying an American farmer who requires rescuing from his girlfriend?

The primary conflict in the story is like most spy films coming out these days – the bad guys are trying to get their hands on the code to activate a weapon of mass destruction. Some of the action cinematography and chase sequences are quite impressive, especially a bus chase scene along a treacherous mountain path. A sizable chunk of the movie is set in Pakistan, and a market scene looked more like it was out of a 19th century Arabia than the current time. Both the special effects and the dark dingy tone made the sets look extremely fake; it looks like Western creators still cannot get over picturing developing nations like they are stuck in the bubonic plague era.

The most fun bits about “Ghosted” are the several small cameos made by familiar actors, most of who have been in popular action titles. For example, Sebastian Stan has an entertaining blink-and-miss appearance as a contract killer and will have his “Captain America” fans thrilled. Adrien Brody who romanced Ana De Armas as Arthur Miller in the Marylin Monroe biopic “Blonde”, plays the primary antagonist in this film. Adrien is stylish and broody as Leveque, a French spy gone rogue.

With an almost two-hour runtime, “Ghosted” begins to get soppy and boring in the last thirty minutes as the comedy gets erode with more emotional scenes and bickering. And the background music must be one of the laziest compilation of songs I’ve ever header, it looks like they just picked a handful of popular songs from Tiktok/Instagram and randomly placed them through the runtime. Some of the placement is peppy and enhances the mood, while a few tracks sound completely out of place.

The climax was chaotic and reminded me of the ending from “Murder Mystery 2”, probably because the endings of both films take place in a posh hotel and there’s lot of money, guns and killing involved. If Dexter Fletcher and team could’ve trimmed “Ghosted” down to a 90-minutes instead of overstretching it to almost two hours, the movie would’ve been way more appealing. It’s still a decent one-time watch for action-romantic-comedy fans though. Chris Evans and Ana De Armas should team up more often.

Rating: 6 on 10. You can stream “Ghosted” on Apple TV.

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