Ghosted review: "Plasticky action, but Evans and de Armas bring real sparks"

(Image: © Apple TV+)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

The fast and furious action is a bit plasticky, but the two starry leads bring some real sparks.

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It’s not hard to see why the pitch from Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick got Apple TV Plus interested: a romantic action-comedy in the vein of Romancing the Stone, only with a role reversal so the guy’s squealing and the gal’s kicking ass.

It’s a doozy even before you make that flailing, floundering guy Chris Evans, aka Captain America, and the gal shielding him from danger Ana de Armas, whose killer moves so impressed Daniel Craig’s Bond in No Time to Die.

Thing is, Ghosted doesn’t start off as an action movie at all, instead catfishing us into thinking it’s a meet-cute romance, as farmer Cole (Evans) flirts with art curator Sadie (de Armas) at a market stall and then walks and talks through a giddy night in Georgetown, Washington. 

Their connection is intense, so why is she now not answering his text messages? Cole refuses to believe she’s ghosting him and makes the ‘grand romantic gesture’ of flying to London to surprise Sadie on her work trip. Only it turns out she’s a secret agent and he’s plonked himself slap-bang in the middle of her dangerous mission.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Ghosted represents another step up in scale for the filmmaker who’s gone from drama Wild Bill to musical Sunshine on Leith to adventure-comedy Eddie the Eagle to Elton John biopic Rocketman. Is choreographing action really so different to orchestrating musical numbers? Well, the various fisticuffs, gun battles and vehicular chases kind of hit the required notes, though it’s hard not to think of Cole and Sadie visiting a karaoke bar during their date – the non-stop carnage across numerous exotic locales feels like a cover version, fun but forgettable. An overabundance of CGI certainly doesn’t help, removing all soul. And peril.

Ultimately, it’s the stars who pull us through. Sharing the screen more extensively than they did in Knives Out and The Gray Man, de Armas and Evans fire prattle-of-the-sexes quips as they dodge bullets. They do better than the rather awkward running gags of characters telling them to get a room, and numerous famous faces popping up as bounty hunters. Still, kudos for bringing some fresh IP to our franchise-clogged screens, even if the coda makes it clear that everyone’s ready to answer the call for Ghosted 2.

Ghosted is out now on Apple TV Plus. For what else to stream, check out the best shows on Apple TV Plus right now.

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Editor-at-Large, Total Film

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror.