Apple TV’s Ghosted isn’t bad by any means, but it’s also not great. It tries too hard at some points and feels overly comical at others, but eh, Chris Evans, as a precious himbo farmer who knows way too much about plants, is still a win for the romance enthusiasts. Pair him with an infectious star like Ana de Armas, and you’ve got a film that’s mostly hot.
The problem with Apple TV’s Ghosted lies in its inability to marry an action-packed thriller and a simple romantic comedy. And the two can work together, as seen in the overly dramatic yet engaging Lost City, which leans heavily into the meta-narratives of adventures, romance, and tropes galore. There are also Netflix’s Murder Mystery films, which, while a little different, still do the job. It’s plausible to also mix spy thrillers and more serious romantic undertones as Amazon Prime’s soon-to-debut Citadel does. Ghosted instead tries too hard to blend two conflicting tones without thoroughly exploring one to dive into the other. It wants us to take the spy arc seriously, but it’s comical instead when an outsider like Evans’ Cole Riggins is thrust in too quickly and awkwardly. Further, even this meandering tone could’ve worked better if we had more time to sit with the characters as we do with a series like NBC’s Chuck, which follows a highly similar premise and succeeds right off the bat.
Still, perhaps the most jarring part of the film is how Cole ends up in London to find Sadie (de Armas) above all things. Tracking? However innocent and however trustworthy his character is, it’s still a toxic red flag that, at the very least, the film knows how to poke fun at. Though, it could’ve poked harder.
Beyond this, the film is a solid good time because of its leads and wildly hilarious cameos, especially for those who are fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It dives deep into some of the best romantic tropes in the beginning, leaning on Evans and de Armas’ charms to add weight and gravitas to the chemistry-filled banter. While the script strays, the actors stay grounded in their attempts to further flesh out the words on the page. The entire conversation about plants alone could’ve gone on for the entirety of the film, and frankly, no one would complain. I’d watch the daylight out of a film like that.
But ultimately, Chris Evans as a farmer is the real draw here. If you were around during the Avengers Ultron era, you likely remember the good ol’ log-ripping scene at Tony’s cabin, followed by all of Tumblr collectively losing its mind and deeming Yankee Candle’s “Mountain Lodge” as the Chris Evans candle. As the youths say today, “It’s giving”—did I use it right? Maybe not. The point is, Chris Evans, as a farmer, works, and the film should’ve leaned deep and hard into allowing de Armas’ Sadie to step in the role and assist in whatever farm shenanigans ensue while fighting behind the scenes for the CIA.
While usually, I’m all for the International trip as opposed to the local one in the States, in this case, the farm is better. The locals he works with getting high and making fun of him? 10/10, no notes. We have plenty of spy dramas, and this film should’ve allowed itself to dive head-deep into the farm. Maybe use the concept of being Ghosted for five minutes before dropping it. And the modernization of using such a gross online dating trope might be its biggest flaw. Showrunners shouldn’t be afraid of allowing the banter to move the plot; it would’ve been far more exhilarating that way.
Ghosted is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.