Saturday 22 April 2023

REVIEW: Ghosted (2023) - Starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas

Review by Jon Donnis:
We've had quite a few action-adventure romantic comedies recently, and the latest one is directed by Dexter Fletcher of "Press Gang" fame! Yes, I'll always go back to "Press Gang".

Sadie Rhodes (Ana de Armas) is a CIA operative who's feeling a bit down in the dumps, perhaps because she's got no missions going on. Then she meets Cole Turner (Chris Evans), this needy but charming farmer guy who sells his produce at a local market. At first, they argue over plants, but after some encouragement from a co-worker, they hit it off and end up doing the deed. But when Cole texts Sadie and doesn't get a response, his sister thinks Sadie's "ghosting" him because he's too clingy. So, against everyone's advice, Cole tracks her down to London using a tracker on his inhaler.

Just as he's about to find her, Cole falls into a trap set by some arms dealers who are after this CIA operative called "The Taxman." They drug him and take him to a cave in Pakistan, where they torture him trying to get the passcode they think he knows. But then this masked hero shows up and saves Cole - and it turns out to be Sadie! She's the "Taxman"! Together they run through the Khyber Pass, escaping from the bad guys who work for some French Intelligence agent called Leveque. He's got a bioweapon called "Aztec" that he's trying to sell but he can't even unlock it.

Cole and Sadie hide out in a nearby town, arguing about the lies they've both told each other. Sadie said she was an art curator, and Cole said he'd traveled the world. Then, this dude Marco shows up - he's an old contact and lover of Sadie's. He tells Cole that Sadie's all about the mission, not the boyfriend. Marco agrees to take Cole back to the US so Sadie can do her thing, but then Leveque puts a bounty on Cole's head. A bounty hunter kills Marco, but then other bounty hunters come after Cole and Sadie, and they all end up killing each other by mistake. In the chaos, Cole tells Sadie about the passcode thing. So, Sadie comes up with a plan to use Cole as bait to get closer to Aztec. She knocks him out and sets things in motion.

What follows is something of a role-reversal type action-adventure rom-com. Usually, it's the man who is the secret agent, and the woman who finds out, and gets in strange predicaments, and then eventually proves herself his equal, basically "True Lies". But here you have Chris Evans playing that part, which is a bit strange since he is this 6-foot, handsome, muscular man who is playing the part of a needy wannabe boyfriend. As such, the casting does feel a bit off; he is literally Captain America for God's sake. With that said, I did like Evan's performance, and he comes across as very likable and brings humor to the film.

Ana de Armas does a great job as the badass CIA operative.

The Good:
It's hard not to like Chris Evans, even if he is terribly miscast in this film. Ana de Armas is strong as Sadie, and I love her slight Cuban accent too. The visual effects are of very high quality during the scenes set in Pakistan; the chase scene on the bus is fantastic.

The Bad:
You've seen this film a thousand times before; the role reversal would have worked better with someone who is not Captain America in the part of Cole.

Even though this film is about as original as a Turkey on Christmas day, it is still well written and well directed. I do like Chris Evans, and I think Ana de Armas is a brilliant actress. And even though the film is far from original and the plot is completely predictable, I still found myself totally enjoying the film.

I score Ghosted a decent 7.5/10

Out now on Apple TV, it is definiately worth a watch.