Stealth (2005)
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Review Date: November 14, 2005
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: W.D. Richter
Producers: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Laura Ziskin
Josh Lucas as Ben
Jessica Biel as Kara
Jamie Foxx as Henry
Three top jet fighters are given a new wing-man in the shape of a stealthy new jet that just happens to be entirely controlled by a very powerful computer. The three pilots aren’t crazy about their new partner at first, and continue on that course as the computer starts to develop a bad habit of not listening to orders. Should they shoot the plane down, try to talk him through some issues or skip this skanky movie altogether? Tough choice, but I’ll go with the Biel bikini shot every time.
Not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly not as appalling as a lot of people had made it out to be. STEALTH is the kind of movie that you really have to be prepared to experience before slapping some of your hard-earned bucks into it. It’s not THE RIGHT STUFF or APOLLO 13, folks. It’s basically the videogame version of TOP GUN…on steroids! If you’re looking for a quality story, great character development or even a few ounces of sense, this flick is not likely to do it for you. If, on the other hand, you just want to sit back, relax, chug a few beers down and watch a measly script about a HAL-like computer taking over a stealth fighter jet, with tons of rapid-fire sequences, exciting dogfights, lots of technical mumbo-jumbo and an absolutely gratuitous scene featuring Jessica Biel in a sweet bikini; you might want to rent this puppy and crack up as the obvious sexually-stifled banter between the characters is supposed to make us “relate” to them somehow. I actually had fun laughing at the screenplay’s many idiocies including the lead computer apparently enjoying hip downloaded tunes as he blasts through the skies – I never realized that computers can actually appreciate song, but apparently…they can! Another hilarious scene features a commanding officer instructing a top-notch fighter pilot about his mission in Tajikistan, followed by a line about it being an “ex-Soviet country” that is now on its own – uuuhmm, does a genius friggin’ pilot really need this guy to explain what any country is?!? It quickly becomes obvious that the screenwriters weren’t really as interested in developing a serious screenplay (Since when can Americans bomb an entire building in another country and then fly away without any recourse whatsoever?? Then again.) as they were in relating to their PG-13 audience members, with all 3 lead characters shown as “hip” fighter pilots to boot – yeah, like so many of those real-life top pilot fighters!

Despite my putdowns, the film was pretty energetic for most of its way, and since I saw it at home, I wasn’t looking for all that much more out of it. My “favorite” scene had to be the one in which Biel ejects herself from a plane and is shown barreling through a myriad of burning wreckage pieces from her plane aka a myriad of “CGI” burning wreckage pieces from her plane. Most of the computer effects in the film were decent, but some of it was pretty damn awful, like you were literally watching a computer screen. But despite the film being quite predictable, I was oddly surprised to witness a scene about halfway through that I honestly didn’t expect from a film like this. That said, once that was accomplished, its final half hour just degraded into a boring “search and rescue” operation, that basically just down-shifted the film into “auto-pilot”, as opposed to some of its more thrilling moments during which the “baddie” computer plane went apeshit. Overall, the film certainly won’t win any awards (other than some possible Razzies…Biel’s performance was pretty bad here), but if you’re like me and actually enjoy watching others play a cool videogame, as you sit next to them and chomp on some popcorn, you might just get some entertainment value out of this “movie”, at least, from a visual perspective. Otherwise, yeah…it sucks.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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