Ghosted (2023 film)

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Ghosted
Official release poster
Directed byDexter Fletcher
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Rhett Reese
  • Paul Wernick
Produced by
Starring
  • Chris Evans
  • Ana de Armas
CinematographySalvatore Totino
Edited by
Music byLorne Balfe
Production
companies
Distributed byApple TV+
Release date
  • April 21, 2023 (2023-04-21)
Running time
116 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Ghosted is a 2023 American romantic action-adventure comedy film directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by the writing teams of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, from a story by Reese and Wernick.[1] The film stars Chris Evans and Ana de Armas.

Produced by Apple Studios and Skydance Media, it was released by Apple TV+ on April 21, 2023. Despite receiving generally negative reviews from critics, it became Apple TV+'s most watched film debut.

Plot[edit]

At a Washington, D.C. farmers' market, lonely Sadie meets Cole, a romantically needy vendor. They share an enjoyable all-night date, culminating in sex, and Cole returns home but his texts to Sadie go unanswered. Cole's sister suspects she is "ghosting" him, but their parents convince him to surprise Sadie in London, after locating her via a tracker on his inhaler that he accidentally left in her bag.

In London, Cole is abducted to Pakistan by arms dealers who believe him to be legendary CIA operative "the Taxman". Before he can be tortured with insects to extract a passcode, he is rescued by Sadie, who reveals herself to be the Taxman. After a chase through the Khyber Pass, they escape Cole's captors, who are working for Leveque, a disgraced French Intelligence agent selling a stolen bioweapon called "Aztec", for which he needs the passcode.

Reaching a nearby town, Cole and Sadie argue over their lies to each other, and meet Marco, her old contact and former lover. He warns Cole that Sadie cares more about the success of a mission than her boyfriends' lives, and agrees to take him home. Their plan is interrupted by a succession of bounty hunters after Leveque puts a price on Cole's head; Marco is killed, but the bounty hunters all kill each other. Learning that Leveque is seeking the passcode, Sadie is determined to recover Aztec using Cole as bait.

Sadie delivers Cole to Leveque, who leaves his henchman, Wagner, on a plane with Sadie, Cole, and the locked case containing Aztec. Their cover is blown when Wagner discovers a picture of the two in bed together on Cole's phone, but Cole parachutes to safety with the Aztec case and a wounded Sadie. Landing on Socotra Island, he uses his agricultural knowledge to treat her, reconnecting with her in the process. They are ambushed by Leveque's men, and Wagner escapes with the case while Cole and Sadie are rescued by U.S. Marines.

At CIA headquarters, Sadie is suspended for losing Aztec and tries to apologize for putting Cole in danger, but he is hurt by her commitment to her mission above all else. He helps to decipher the passcode, and agrees to continue to masquerade as the Taxman, luring Leveque with an offer to sell it.

Leveque meets Cole at a revolving restaurant with his own buyer for Aztec, Mr. Utami, and has the agents monitoring Cole killed. Sadie arrives, restoring Cole's trust in her, and she sells the passcode to Mr. Utami for $10 million. She immediately uses the money to place a bounty on Leveque, and they are suddenly surrounded by bounty hunters.

A gunfight erupts, damaging the revolving mechanism and spinning the restaurant at high speed. Leveque shoots Utami, and Cole kills Wagner by throwing him into the mechanism. Sadie manages to send Leveque crashing through a window to his death and narrowly saves the Aztec device. Rekindling their relationship, Sadie meets Cole's family, as they find time for each other between—and during—her missions.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In August 2021, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson entered negotiations to star in Ghosted, a film pitched by screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to Skydance Media, with Dexter Fletcher attached to direct.[2][3] In December 2021, Johansson had to exit the film due to a scheduling conflict, leading to Ana de Armas being cast in her place.[4] In February 2022, Adrien Brody joined the cast.[5] Mike Moh, Amy Sedaris, Tim Blake Nelson and Tate Donovan would be added in March.[6]

Principal photography took place from February to May 2022[7][8] at Tallulah Falls Lake in Tallulah Gorge State Park, Georgia; North Park Square, Marietta, Georgia; Chesapeake and Ohio Canal between Thomas Jefferson and 31st Street in Georgetown, the Lincoln Book Tower, Ford's Theatre and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, all in Washington D.C.[9] Scenes in the Khyber Pass mountains were filmed in New Mexico, while the city of Mingora, Pakistan, was filmed on a set in Atlanta.[9]

Release[edit]

The film was released on Apple TV+ on April 21, 2023.[10] According to a Samba TV research panel of 3.1 million smart television households who tuned in for at least one minute, Ghosted drew in 328,500 viewers in the first two days, and is the most watched film debut in Apple TV+ history.[11]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 25% of 118 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The website's consensus reads: "Listlessly wafting between action, comedy, and romance without ever solidifying into a satisfying whole, Ghosted earns a chorus of boos."[12] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 34 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[13]

Benjamin Lee, writing for The Guardian, gave the film one out of five stars, criticizing the lack of chemistry between Evans and de Armas and calling the film "a staggeringly, maddeningly atrocious heap of increasingly boneheaded decisions that will act as depressing documentation of just how rotten things got in the current oversaturated streaming landscape."[14] Writing for RogerEbert.com, Peter Sobczynski also criticized Evans and de Armas's lack of chemistry as well as Fletcher's direction, negatively comparing the film to True Lies (1994), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) and Knight and Day (2010), and calling the film "a tedious exercise in sheer greed and laziness that presumes if enough money and famous faces are tossed into the mix, no one will notice, or at least mind, the utter vacuousness of the enterprise"; he gave the film 0.5 out of four stars.[15] David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "C–" grade, criticizing the film's lack of commitment to its concepts and ideas, writing that the film "has no interest in anything more than a casual relationship with its audience, as it reliably stifles a joke or kills the mood the moment it suspects that you might be about to catch feelings."[16]

Conversely, Stephanie Zacharek at Time noted Evans and de Armas's chemistry more positively, while also noting the film's familiarity, writing: "Ghosted clacks along efficiently, ticking off all the expected boxes. There are no surprises here, just the pleasant ectoplasmic shimmer of a formula you've seen a million times before, vanishing almost as soon as the end credits start rolling."[17]

In an article for BBC Online, Nicholas Barber muses that "viewers have different requirements when they're clicking away at home on a Tuesday night. Ghosted and its fellow direct-to-streaming movies provide precision-engineered undemanding escapism that the whole family can agree to sit through."[18]

Accolades[edit]

Award / Film Festival Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Golden Raspberry Awards March 9, 2024 Worst Actor Chris Evans Pending [19]
Worst Actress Ana de Armas Pending
Worst Screen Couple Ana de Armas & Chris Evans (who flunked Screen Chemistry) Pending

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ghosted". Writers Guild of America West. October 5, 2022. Archived from the original on November 27, 2022. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  2. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 29, 2021). "Apple, Skydance Reuniting Marvel Superhero Stalwarts Scarlett Johansson & Chris Evans In Dexter Fletcher-Directed Ghosted". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 30, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  3. ^ Kit, Borys (August 30, 2021). "Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson to Star in Adventure Movie Ghosted for Apple". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (December 3, 2021). "Ana De Armas In, Scarlett Johansson Exits Apple's Chris Evans-Starrer Ghosted; Skydance Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 9, 2022). "Adrien Brody Joins Chris Evans In Apple And Skydance's Ghosted From Director Dexter Fletcher". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 9, 2022). "Mike Moh, Amy Sedaris, Tim Blake Nelson And Tate Donovan Join Chris Evans In Apple And Skydance's Ghosted". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 17, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2022.
  7. ^ Kasule, Melissa (January 12, 2022). "Apple drama Ghosted starring Chris Evans to shoot in Atlanta and Washington DC". Kemps Film and TV Production Services Handbook. Archived from the original on February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Remley, Hilary (May 13, 2022). "'Ghosted' Wraps Filming, Chris Evans Posts Behind-the-Scenes Image". Collider. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Where was Ghosted filmed? The Restaurant & all the Locations". Atlas of Wonders. April 21, 2023. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  10. ^ MacCary, Julia (March 6, 2023). "Ghosted Trailer: Chris Evans Flies to London for Ana de Armas in Romantic Spy Thriller". Variety. Archived from the original on March 7, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 26, 2023). "Chris Evans & Ana de Armas Skydance Spy Action Pic Ghosted Most Watched Debut In Apple TV+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  12. ^ "Ghosted". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 27, 2024. Edit this at Wikidata
  13. ^ "Ghosted". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  14. ^ Lee, Benjamin (April 21, 2023). "Ghosted review – dreadful big star action comedy deserves to be ignored". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 21, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  15. ^ Sobczynski, Peter (April 21, 2023). "Ghosted". RogerEbert.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2023. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  16. ^ Ehrlich, David (April 20, 2023). "'Ghosted' Review: At Least It's Shorter Than 'The Gray Man'". IndieWire. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  17. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (April 21, 2023). "Ghosted Makes a Vaporous Vehicle for the Charms of Ana de Armas and Chris Evans". Time. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  18. ^ Barber, Nicholas (May 5, 2023). "Ghosted: The films 'too bad for the cinema'". BBC Online. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  19. ^ "Razzie Noms 2024: Chris Evans and Jennifer Lopez Up for Worst Actors; 'Shazam 2' and 'Ant-Man 3' Tie With 4 Nods". Variety. January 22, 2024. Retrieved January 22, 2024.

External links[edit]