"Stealth," the dud of a summer blockbuster starring Jamie Foxx, Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel, is now out on DVD, and while it is quite stupid and unbelievable, it is much better than I was expecting.
And what was I expecting? While watching the previews countless times at theaters, I tried to figure out what the studio was thinking. Did they think "Stealth" was going to be a blockbuster? Some box office analysts seemed to think so, but it was clear from the audience reactions that it was going to fail miserably. Aside from a quick shot of Ms. Biel in a bathing suit, the trailer featured an idiotic story, questionable graphics and... well, that says it all, doesn't it?
The movie is about three pilots who get the surprise of their life when they are pitted with a high-tech wingman - a plan with a built-in artificial intelligence. Of course, when the plane is struck by lightning, the only logical thing to happen is that it becomes evil and starts destroying things left and right. Why lightning, or electricity in general, would ever have this effect on a machine is beyond me, but the result is a low-grade version of 2001, only without the depth.
The movie varies between brainlessly entertaining action scenes and silly eye-rolling moments. In other words, aspects of "Stealth" are fun, and other aspects are a complete waste of time. When director Rob Cohen really gets into the action the camera zooms and turns with exciting fashion, but at the same time a lot of it is flash and glitter and audiences can see through that. The movie also has several long sequences with no action, which is quite surprising, and it takes an amazingly long time for the A.I. plane to turn bad. And once the plane turns bad things get really stupid.
What really hurts the movie is the special effects, which at times are quite good and at other times not-so-good at all. The planes themselves never look real, which really destroys any connection to "Top Gun" that the marketers were attempting. It's hard to get into a dogfight when the planes are nothing but pixels. Probably the worst scene in the entire movie is the money shot that was promoted in the trailers, where Lucas's character attempts to refill his gas by hooking up to a blimp high in the sky. Where this blimp came from no one knows, but apparently it holds enough gas to explode large enough to be seen from space.
"Stealth" is an up-and-down movie. If you go in with as low of expectations as I did, you might find it mildly entertaining at times. Still, I would never even consider watching it again as I permanently killed a substantial amount of brain cells in the process.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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