Can we all agree that you’ve got to try pretty hard — like, it takes a particularly top-tier level of moviemaking ineptitude — to take the raw materials of a spy story, plus big-name actors like Ana de Armas and Chris Evans, and somehow produce a lame, cringe-y dud along the lines of Ghosted?
As of this writing, the new Apple TV+ movie has an abysmal 29% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s not hard to see why. I agree with The Daily Beast’s reviewer who opined that it feels like ChatGPT wrote this script for this new release, in which Evans’ “salt of the earth” Cole falls head-over-heels for the doe-eyed and enigmatic Sadie, played by de Armas. The big twist here is that she’s actually a secret agent (gasp!) and gets called away on an international escapade to save the world before they settle on the particulars for a second date.
The only thing that saves this movie is that Evans and de Armas are so darn likable that you kind of don’t care what idiotic contortions the plot is putting them through. All the movie is, really, is an opportunity to do a gender reversal of the standard damsel-in-distress trope, with Evans this time the hapless “damsel” who needs to be rescued (once he gets himself caught up in Sadie’s world by following her to Europe, thinking she’s a normie).
The Ghosted cast also includes Adrian Brody, Mike Moh, Amy Sedaris, Tim Blake Nelson, and Tate Donovan. The film is helmed by Dexter Fletcher and was written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers (de Armas, by the way, also gets an executive producer credit).
As a fan of Apple’s streaming service, I’m hopeful it steps up its movie game soon with more titles a la the just-released Tetris. “Great storytellers can change the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook promised during the Apple TV+ launch event back in 2019. Dumb romantic comedies along the lines of Ghosted are not what we were all thinking he meant by that.
A sampling of some of the other many withering reviews from critics: