Ghosted Review: | IndieWire

Chris Evans and Ana de Armas star in yet another offensively bland streaming action flick, this time for Apple.

Every cinematic era is defined, at least in part, by films that could not have been made at any other time. That’s why, despite boasting an endless array of masterpieces from around the world, 1970s cinema remains synonymous with rogue vigilante stories about rogue cops struggling to regain some control over an increasingly chaotic world. above the world. That’s why the quasi-Shakespearean high school movies that closed out the ’90s became such supercharged nostalgia fuel after Columbine and 9/11 that they shut down the entire subgenre.

And it’s also why glossies like Apple TV+’s “Ghosted” will be more instructive in the history of the streaming era than standouts like “Roma,” “The Lost Daughter” or “The Power of the Dog”. Consider it a lucky break for a paint-by-numbers action movie that feels half-forgotten by the time it starts playing on TV.

Lighter on its feet and less harrowing than last summer’s “The Gray Man” (despite the Russo brothers’ $200 million spy-vs.-spy tagline splitting two key characters), “Ghosted” still feels like a model victim. recent content wars. With Dexter Fletcher’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” style and fun, he directed the gender-swapped riff of “The Spy Who Dumped Me” like a car commercial, borrowing lazily from the obvious litany of real Hollywood blockbusters. and it keeps revealing that it was made without any real financial interest in making it really good.

If anything, “Ghosted” only happily evokes the concept the fun in the hopes that a few pretty faces and a familiar arrangement of flashing lights might be enough to convince the stock market that Apple is investing its money instead of just throwing it away. However, if we’re lucky, “Ghosted” could represent the last gasp before mutual retirement.

With both Apple and Amazon pledging to invest more than $1 billion in big-budget movies that will presumably be made to a higher standard, there’s reason to hope that “Ghosted” will be the last time a Netflix competitor spends a fortune Instantly throwaway, streamable action movie that loses a fun group of actors to some bad Atlanta green screen, and a script that looks like it was written by ChatGPT (sadly, we’re getting an “Excerpt 2,” whatever). Maybe studios could afford to pay writers a living wage if they didn’t pay the writers of “Deadpool” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” millions of dollars for something an AI could pump out for the price of free. fast.


In this case, that call-to-action might be: “Give me an aggressively basic action-comedy aimed at Apple TV+ subscribers who feel the jokes on ‘Ted Lasso’ are a little too edgy.” Ana de Armas – who would be a hugely talented action star were it not for her fetishistic fondness for damned projects – plays Sadie, a CIA super-spy whose grief over the recent death of a colleague only reinforces her lack of interest in emotional investment. She strives to be like a cactus that can get by on minimal love, but the fact that she buys a begonia (!!) from Chris Evans at a DC farmers market suggests that Sadie needs more love, than it allows. .

Evans is an ultra-charismatic actor who plays his straitjacket-like awe-inspiring character, Cole Riggan, an agricultural nerd. He’s comically hot and muscular, but he’s also a nerd who loves history (ew) and has a mild case of asthma, so this movie paints him as a giant loser who lives in his parents’ guest house and doesn’t have the balls to do anything with him. life. It takes all the courage Cole can muster to date Sadie, but he soon finds himself sticking his neck out.

When Sadie doesn’t return her incessant date texts, Cole’s sister—a character who exists only to explain the concept of spirituality when it would have been much easier to just give this movie a different name—insists that she’s just not into him. However, Cole takes this new courage seriously, so he decides to fly to London and use GPS to surprise Sadie with a second date.

Unfortunately, the real surprise is in store for him: Sadie isn’t the harmless art she seems, and Cole finds himself the target of a ruthless French arms dealer (Adrien Brody, why not) who believes he’s stolen a priceless bioweapon. McGuffin thing. Sadie is less interested in saving Cole than she is in saving the world, but there’s enough overlap that her priorities are a little more muddled than any ho-hum set piece.


Apple TV+

Ghosted, a paint-by-numbers action comedy developed from this premise, asks so little of the audience that Sadie should probably date it. This movie doesn’t care about anything other than the occasional connection with the audience, as it reliably stifles a joke or kills the mood. moment he suspects that you will catch emotions.

Are you curious about Tim Blake Nelson playing a mentally ill Russian torturer obsessed with exotic bugs? Well, don’t get too attached. Are you surprised that this chase scene along Pakistan’s Khyber Pass—or at least along its unusually convincing creation—is fun and frenetic and detailed enough to raise hopes for the film’s more action-packed second hour? Not so fast, here’s 10 minutes of awkward first sketch banter, followed by an aerial escape scene that generates less excitement than an Instagram reel (the algorithm mistakenly concluded that I’m an extreme sports freak, but I’m glad someone’s cool lasts). Does the film stumble into a cameo-driven running gag that seems to be on its way to a thoroughly hilarious payoff? Yes, but don’t worry, he pops the balloon so hard that the wasted comedic potential ends up looking like a happy accident.

The film’s more deliberate decisions prove to be telling. The unironically soundtracked, low-intensity, unimaginative fight scenes of “Uptown Funk” and “Lust for Life” betray a desperate attempt to elicit a Pavlovian funk response in a film that has abandoned all hope of making its own ( a semi-decent gag involving a certain Beatles song is a little less sweaty in comparison). A rooftop shootout in the revolving dining room of Atlanta’s Polaris restaurant throws a skilled mechanic into the mix, but Fletcher can’t do anything clever with the location.

If anything, the restaurant serves as an apt metaphor for an industry that spins furiously in place, and for a film that relies on centrifugal force to keep its audience in their seats (instead of laughter, excitement, or emotional investment). Alas, movies are not like cacti. Like Sadie, they can’t survive with so little attention. And like Sadie, I suspect the people behind the business model knew this deep down and are eager to lose their numbers.

grade: C-

“Ghosted” will be available on Apple TV+ starting Friday, April 21.

Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *