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Ghosted ★★★



Director: Dexter Fletcher

Cast: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody

Release Date: 21st April 2023 (Apple TV+)

Chris Evans & Ana de Armas proved a winning combination in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out in 2019, showing great chemistry; the duo reunited for last year’s The Gray Man to a far more muted response and now are on screen together again in Dexter Fletcher’s Ghosted for Apple TV+. Fletcher has carved out a hugely impressive directorial career from his debut Wild Bill through the underrated Sunshine on Leith and dazzling Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Ghosted is an action comedy that feels somewhat of a throwback centred on Evans’ Cole Riggan, a farmer who lives in his parent’s guest house and has yet to meet “the one”. He seemingly finally has in de Armas’ mysterious Sadie, who works in the art world; as soon as she comes into Cole’s life, she mysteriously disappears. Cole traces her to London, where he discovers she is a CIA agent.

While riffing on the ground covered in the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz film Knight & Day, Ghosted is, for the most part, a diverting way to spend two hours and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Not all jokes land, but it’s clear everyone involved is having a good time, and it’s intriguing to see Fletcher flex his directorial muscles and take an unexpected step.

In addition to Evans and de Armas, there are several other noteworthy cast members led by Adrien Brody as main villain Leveque, a cartoonish pastiche, and there is an assortment of cameos, some more enjoyable than others. There are sendups of a few recent action franchises, most notably the John Wick films, which, funnily enough, de Armas will be joining in 2024’s Ballerina.

The action, if not ground-breaking, is perfectly serviceable and helps the film go briskly. A set piece involving a bus in Pakistan is a particular highlight. It would work far more effectively as a 90-minute film but not quite justify its 2-hour runtime.

While having some fun needle drops can ultimately prove quite jarring with short bursts from far too many pop songs spanning a range of styles, we have everything from Dua Lipa to Blur, The Beatles and Portugal The Man.

Far from perfect, Ghosted is an enjoyable enough way to spend 2 hours, if a tad overlong; while not doing anything new, there is plenty of fun. The main attraction will be Evans and de Armas, who fail to recapture the brilliance of Knives Out but do a good job. Dexter Fletcher isn’t afforded as many opportunities to showcase his skill as a director as in Rocketman or Eddie The Eagle, with this perhaps being his weakest effort to date. Still, it is far from a complete failure, and the action and sense of fun keep it on track.

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