Review by Cole Groth
Ghosted might be the worst movie of 2023. Coming from Apple TV+, Skydance Studios, and a cast led by two of the biggest Hollywood stars, if this isn’t the worst of the year, it’s at least the most embarrassing. There’s hardly a moment in this aggressively terrible action/rom-com that will change your expression from anything better than a hard stare. I warn you now: stay away. Stay far away from ever wasting your time on this.
To everybody unfamiliar with movie reviewing works, I’ll give you a quick tip on how you can tell a movie is terrible. A review embargo is when the studio behind a film tells you movie reviews can release. If the studio is confident that its movie is good, it’ll typically release the embargo a week or more early, so audiences can see the critics rave over it. If a film is bad, reviews might release a day or so before. Ghosted releases on April 21st. This review is embargoed until 9 pm EST on April 20th. That’s six hours before the film releases on Apple TV+.
Ghosted follows Cole (Chris Evans), a boring farmer who experiences a chance encounter with Sadie (Ana de Armas), a hitwoman who isn’t much more interesting than Cole. After Sadie ghosts Cole after their date, he travels to another country to meet up with her. Why does he travel to another country to find a girl he hung out with one time? Maybe he’s delusional, maybe he’s a total idiot, or maybe he’s written by a bunch of morons. Once in Europe, Cole realizes the true nature of Sadie’s job and has to fight a series of bad guys to save his life. Does it sound generic? That’s because it is.
Four people are credited with the screenplay of Ghosted. Chris McKenna, Rhett Reese, Erik Sommers, and Paul Wernick all deserve special shoutouts for their work on this film. McKenna and Sommers wrote the Spider-Man MCU trilogy, while Reese and Wernick wrote the Deadpool movies and Zombieland. These are all pretty good movies. Put together, you’d think that four decent screenwriters could make anything decent, but this screenplay is ungodlily terrible. After watching this, I hope they never receive work again. Every line of dialogue is generic, the plot progression is generic, and the overall story is just boring.
If you thought Chris Evans and Ana de Armas were good actors, you may (will?) reevaluate your thoughts while the credits roll for this. Yes, a bad script will make even a competent actor look weaker, but these two lack so much chemistry that it’s almost laughable. They both stiltedly deliver terrible lines without any emotion, leaving you wondering if these two rehearsed their lines even a few times before the cameras rolled. A series of celebrity cameos are equally embarrassing because plenty of great actors will have a stain on their IMDb page from a thirty-second sequence here.
We already know that the romance sucks, but what about the comedy? You might be surprised to hear that it sucks, too! There’s not a single line that could even bring a light smile to your face. The writers behind this couldn’t make you laugh if their lives depended on it, and it shows through their boring script.
As if the lack of romance and comedy weren’t enough, the action is incredibly terrible. It’s over-the-top in its presentation, yet never fully commits to being violent. Most of the action is a series of confusing cuts and shaky cam set against fake-looking guns and missed shots. Is it too much to ask for a single punch to look like it was actually made? I don’t want actors to be beating each other up on set, but aren’t people paid to make sure that it looks like they are? In this film, clearly not.
This is visually one of the ugliest big-budget films in a long time. The special effects are so inept, with the final sequence looking straight from a Robert Rodriguez movie. Not a single set looks genuine, the colors are ugly as hell, and the violence is terribly done. There isn’t a single shot from the nearly two hours that is appealing. Everything is either a generic shot from a studio set or a horrifically computer-generated one.
My biggest problem with movies like this is that talented screenwriters and directors are not given work in favor of incredibly untalented people like director Dexter Fletcher and the writing team behind this. The fact that people can waste two hours watching this film instead of seeing a passion project made by somebody who has something to say is devastating.
Ghosted represents the worst of Hollywood. This is the culmination of years of executives deciding that terrible action movies can be saved by placing two big stars in front of the camera. As far as creativity goes, this could be one of the worst movies ever made. There’s not a single aspect of this movie that’s done well, and with so many millions of dollars involved in this, this movie has no right to be this terrible.
The conclusion I’ve gathered from this is that Ghosted is a money laundering front. It’s hard to believe that actors decided to be in this, that a director signed on and directed this movie, or that a writer could put the dialogue to the page and submit this to a studio. No, I’ll choose to believe that Tim Cook wants to get a large tax write-off and is somehow using this film to make that happen. Everybody involved should be embarrassed. I would much rather watch a movie generated by an AI because an amalgamation of dozens of other action/comedies would still be better than this flaming pile of garbage. Ghosted will hopefully be ghosted by as many people as possible on its release date.
Ghosted releases on Apple TV+ on April 21st.