FILM REVIEW: Stealth

Stealth Scores Stealth (Columbia)
Release date: July 29, 2005
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Starring: Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Sam Shepard

- Jul 29, 2005

Stealth Scores Stealth (Columbia)
Release date: July 29, 2005
Directed by: Rob Cohen
Starring: Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Sam Shepard
Rating: Although it's become common for actors to follow up Oscar victories with big-budget spectacles that capitalize on their newfound bankability, it's clear that Jamie Foxx committed to Stealth before earning the gold statuette for Ray. However, Stealth really belongs to Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel and, surprisingly, it isn't half bad. Lucas, Biel and Foxx play pilots selected for a cutting-edge military project. As a team, they fly what they're led to believe are the only three Talon stealth fighters in existence. What they don't know is that the real goal of their commanding officer, a slimy careerist named Cummings (Shepard), is to get a fully automated, unmanned version of the Talon off the ground and into battle. Like all artificially intelligent movie characters, the computerized fighter pilot is given a cute human name, in this case "EDI." EDI has downloaded every song on the Internet and yet for some reason plays the same insipid nu-metal song every time it's in action. The first time EDI flies with Ben Gannon (Lucas), Kara Wade (Biel) and Henry Purcell (Foxx), all seems to be fine. But on the way back from the inaugural voyage, EDI is struck by lightning and from then on it uses its ever-expanding knowledge base (it can learn, of course) to seek out military targets to blast away at. Gannon and his crew are left to try and chase down the murderous rogue robot and all kinds of bright, flashy explosions ensue. Stealth is loaded with cheesy expositional dialogue, a clunky love story between Lucas and Biel's characters and the fetishization of military gadgets. But for all of its faults, Stealth is decent popcorn entertainment. The flying scenes are shot with delirious energy, making the numerous cockpit point-of-view shots seem like a big-screen flight simulator. The actors are thankfully far better than the material they're working with. This is particularly true of Lucas. Supporting roles in Sweet Home Alabama and Hulk demonstrated his charisma and his likeability factor in Stealth should earn him a few more lead parts. And while the jury's still out on her acting ability, Jessica Biel also fares well in this film. With her inhuman muscle tone, she's believable as both an action hero and a love interest. Foxx is given an underdeveloped character, making it strange to see him burn so dimly after Ray. It's interesting to watch Foxx play the last third-fiddle role he's going to have for a while. But this, like most of Stealth's many deficiencies, doesn't take much away from the film's impact. If you came to watch stuff blow up real good, you'll be happy with Stealth. Reviewed by Matt SemanskyMORE MOVIE REVIEWS: The Island
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