‘Ghosted’ Movie Review – A fun but flawed action-romance

It’s clear that the intention behind Ghosted, the new movie starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, isn’t to deliver the studio prestigious awards. The value in this movie is different – by watching it, you can’t help but want to talk about it. And that’s what I did. And from casually watching Twitter and Facebook this weekend, that’s what many others did too. 

This movie isn’t the kind you want to watch in a dark theater while stuffing your face with popcorn. The smaller at-home television screen, preferably with friends, is the perfect venue. Ghosted is tailor-made for dissecting it with friends as it happens, either in person or otherwise. Once you’ve checked it off your watch list, you need never give it a thought again. Ghosted has problems and struggles to fit into its hybrid genre, but it offers many fun moments. 

An Action Rom-Com

The best way to describe the film is an action rom-com. Think of Stuber but replace the Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista bromance with a romance. Ghosted is not the only recent hybrid action romance with high-profile stars. In December last year, Amazon released a direct to Prime Video movie, Shotgun Wedding, starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel. The powers that be are still operating with the mistaken idea that regular com-coms are dead and you need explosions to get people to watch a film.

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in “Ghosted,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Ghosted excels at being buzzy – it perfectly lends itself to commentary. There’s no way you watch this and are silent – you’ll have things to say at the screen, and not all of them are good. With that said, let’s get into the specifics of the movie.

[Note: There are spoilers ahead for Ghosted.]

In Ghosted, Evans is unlucky in love farmer named Cole Riggan. Ana De Armas’ character, Sadie Rhodes, is a CIA assassin who is similarly unlucky, both in love and with making genuine human connections. The two meet at a farmers market and end up on a day-long date. It’s a setup that will make any romance reader or rom-com lover sigh over cuteness. The cuteness takes a turn into cringe after they go their separate ways.

Riggan texts Sadie an excessive amount of time after their time together. Sadie is busy with CIA things and doesn’t respond. Riggan is feeling down about it, and that’s compounded when he realizes he left his inhaler in her purse. This is a chronic problem, and he’s attached Air-Tag knockoffs to everything important to him to track them. Goaded by his family, he tracks the inhaler and Sophie to London. 

Fake air tags and the cringe factor

After more encouragement/goading, Riggan decides to leap and head to London after her, where he pinged his inhaler. This is where the severe cringe for Ghosted comes in. Being tracked by an air tag unknowingly is downright terrifying, even if you’re Captain America. It’s stalkery and not a great foundation for a romance. I wonder, too, if that’s why the “air tags” in the movie were knockoffs. Ghosted airs on Apple TV+, and Apple has faced scrutiny in the recent past because of how air tags can be used for nefarious purposes. There’s certainly lots of other Apple product placement in the movie – for example, a car scene at the very start heavily features Apple’s CarPlay functionality. 

Ghosted attempts to subvert older action movie tropes. Instead of a damsel in distress, Evans’ Riggan is abducted in a case of mistaken identity, and de Armas’ character has to save him. It could have been exhilarating to watch if it had been done well, but that wasn’t the case here.

A problem of chemistry

The leads are gorgeous and charismatic. They’re watchable, and you want to like them, even though there’s no chemistry between the two. (Seriously, none.) But their roles are not believable – Evans as a bumbling farmer and de Armas as a deadly CIA assassin. Evans has come a long way since his Johnny Storm days but still exudes capability. His character is a farmer who apparently doesn’t know his way around a gun (hello, coyotes!) and also the personification of the overly attached girlfriend meme. Ana De Armas, who already starred as the trope-busting butt-kicking Bond girl Paloma in No Time to Die, is implausible in Ghosted in a similar role. As an audience, we don’t buy either of them as these things, and it hurts the movie. 

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas in Ghosted, now streaming on Apple TV+.

It’s worth noting, however, that the overdone performances amplify that the actors look like they’re having fun. It’s not Shakespeare, and Evans and de Armas, along with the other cast members, treat them with lightness and an appropriate lack of gravity. 

The plot of the movie is also disjointed – there’s location hopping that makes no sense and random middle eastern terrorists that are borderline offensive. 

The moments that make Ghosted worth it

Ghosted still offers fun for the time invested – and there are many moments that make it worth watching. 

There’s a key scene in Pakistan where “The Taxman” is being brought in by bounty hunters. This is one of the scenes that’s been all over the internet because of the A-list cameos. If you don’t react to suddenly seeing Anthony Mackie reunited with Chris Evans before being felled by John Cho, who Sebastian Stan then zonks, there’s something wrong with you (or you just haven’t watched enough tv to know who these people are!) It’s fun, and the snowball effect where each bounty hunter is topping the other is perfect for talking at your TV. This scene, in particular, would have made it big in the early days of the internet, and I could see it talked about on Oh No They Didn’t!

The stunts in Ghosted are impressive. The sequence in the private plane, where they used that location to its full advantage to help drive the story forward, was awesome. It reminded me of some Jackie Chan-style stunts from the Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights movies. The stunts were the right balance of realistic and absurd. 

Brody as the perfect campy villain

Adrien Brody in "Ghosted," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Adrien Brody in Ghosted, now streaming on Apple TV+.

Adrien Brody is the perfect twirling mustache-style villain. His campiness is a highlight of the movie. Brody’s character, Leveque, is a baddie because the intelligence agencies he worked for treated him as a disposable asset – and one day while bleeding in Kabul, he had enough. This motivated him to go off on his evil journey – including amassing a torture room full of animals that could sting or bite you to death. No biggie, right? 

The cactus as a throughline of the movie was cute – it’s no baby Yoda or Din Grogu, but I think we’re all cacti-lovers after seeing the little spiky plant go.  

I’ll leave you with one final thought on the movie – and when you watch Ghosted, you’ll know why: Why didn’t they let Ana de Armas use her natural hair?

What did you think of Ghosted? Did you yell at your TV while watching it or immediately text your friends? Please share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation with us on Twitter @MoviesWeTexted.

Ghosted is now streaming on Apple TV+.

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