Everything at farmers markets has a story, even the customers. One recognizes it right away in the opening of the new movie Ghosted. When a young woman wants to buy a house flower, the salesman decides from a casual conversation that he doesn’t have a good enough “story” for it. And he prefers to offer her a cactus. The rest of the romantic action comedy, which can be seen on Apple TV+, will be based on similar thunderous metaphors.
A dispute over a “cactus” leads both handsome people to a date and into bed. But then things understandably get complicated in the film directed by Dexter Fletcher. Farmer Cole, played by Chris Evans, aka Captain America from the Avengers, with a mixture of brooding and cluelessness, does not get answers to his texts. His parents scold him, his younger sister laughs at him because she has a crush on him and knows that sending 12 messages in two days after a first date is not normal.
Fortunately, Cole forgot his inhaler in his acquaintance’s purse, so he can remotely locate it. He discovers that the device is not currently moving anywhere in the vicinity of an American farm somewhere in the suburbs of Washington, but in central London. And so the farmer, who has never left home, decides to make what he calls a romantic gesture, although a more correct word today would be stalking: he decides to surprise a woman on the other side of the world who does not respond to his messages.
But it soon becomes clear that the mysterious Sadie is not the art curator Cole had been led to believe, but a secret agent. And then, as usual, the heroes have to save the world instead of a second date.
Ghosted is a typical genre canapé – even if a possible culinary example would sound like a quick sourdough – from the production of online platforms. In the spirit of many similar films from Netflix and others, it seems as if the director filmed the very first shot of the script, which no one had the will to complete.
At the same time, the subject itself of screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, signed under the name Zombieland or Deadpool, is not at all original. Ana de Armas got a role here that seems to make up for how little time she had in last year’s Bond film No Time to Die. A secret agent with a somewhat scattered personal life probably couldn’t be more of a cliché. Chris Evans balances it out, as his farmer seems like something that could only really be created on paper.
Chris Evans as Cole and Ana de Armas as Sadie. | Photo: Apple TV+
This guy is an American “Czech Honza” who only takes care of the family business. Although he is educated in history, about which he is writing a book, but in all the dangers into which his spy escapades across the world inadvertently get him, he seems like a naive, but enormously handsome elm. Luckily, he supposedly wrestled in high school, so he’ll soon be settling into the role of a man who can take on killers with his fists.
You can certainly turn a blind eye to such shortcuts, which action movie isn’t full of them? But that shouldn’t make Ghosted fall apart on everything that is essential in similar genre work. First of all, the chemistry between the heroes does not work, and since not a single spark jumps, at least until the middle of the film, the whole well-known romantic motif “who teases, likes to flirt” seems funny.
From the second scene, sentences are constantly repeated and varied on the topic of how you can literally feel the huge sexual tension between the two, the most frequent sentence being “You should end up somewhere at a hotel”. The joke is that it happened a long time ago. But unfortunately, the saddest thing about forums is that the audience has to be told something that is not actually happening on the screen.
Director Fletcher seems to have forgotten the rather elegant scenes of his otherwise somewhat problematic musical films Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. This time, he filmed both the action scenes and the – seriously only – love scene as an advertisement. Pleasant unexciting music plays during the event, and in bed they roll decently and chastely in front of the camera with white duvets.
Thanks to the fact that Ghosted ends up being a fairly light film full of stars in both major and minor roles, and because the central couple eventually starts to seem more convincing, it’s not such a disaster. It’s just another example of how A-list stars these days routinely jump from Bond or Marvel movies to dozens of TV movies with slightly better budgets than what used to be on TV.
Chris Evans jako Cole. | Foto: Apple TV+
Ghosted casually borrows from action and spy films, from the works of Alfred Hitchcock to the John Wick series. The actor Tim Blake Nelson flashes in the role of a sadistic torturer with a penchant for insects that cause extremely painful bites, Adrien Brody plays another of the villains with a funny accent.
The story moves between America, Europe and Pakistan, in the end quite at a pace. After a painful start, it settles down to an unexciting average. Which is the worst possible thing.
Many Netflix productions such as Redemption or Old Guard: The Immortals were uneven, but they contained original ideas or unforgettable action scenes. Unfortunately, Apple’s rival Ghosted is the same as its name, referring to when someone stops communicating with you without explanation. It’s just that movie that you played in your living room by accident or mistake, there’s nothing fundamentally terrible about it, but still, during the moments you spend together, you’re constantly thinking about how to get rid of it as efficiently as possible.
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Apple TV+, Czech premiere on April 26.
Leave a Reply