**1/2 (out of 5)
July 29, 2005
Josh Lucas as BEN GANNON
Jessica Biel as KARA WADE
Jamie Foxx as HENRY PURCELL
Sam Shepard as GEORGE CUMMINGS
Richard Roxburgh as KEITH ORBIT
Studio: Sony Pictures
Directed by: Rob Cohen
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
“Stealth” is an appropriate name for this movie because the flick just seemed to come out of nowhere. If you ask me, I’d guess that the studio didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in it. But, with it releasing a week after Michael Bay’s mega-bomb “The Island,” it might actually have a chance.
“Stealth” reminds me of the film “The Core.” Don’t remember “The Core”? Well, I wouldn’t be too upset if you don’t. Very few people do. “The Core” was a mid-summer release about two years ago with explosive action film sensibilities and not much of a plot. In fact, the premise was downright ludicrous. However, it did star Oscar winner Hillary Swank.
Similarly, “Stealth” stars Oscar winner Jamie Foxx. However, I’m sure when they were casting this movie, the words “Oscar” and “Jamie Foxx” were rarely uttered in the same sentence. I’d be willing to be real money that Foxx would never have touched this film if he had the inkling that he might actually be taken seriously by the Academy. Consequently, we’re left with a character more reminiscent of Bunz from “Booty Call” (my favorite Jamie Foxx movie, incidentally) than anything he’s done in the past year.
Rounding out the cast is the lackluster Josh Lucas and the curvaceous Jessica Biel. The three young, hip stars play three young, hip Navy pilots in an elite group. It’s so elite, in fact, there are only three of them… until now. The Navy is testing a new plane flown completely by an artificial intelligence computer.
Of course, as everyone can predict, it doesn’t take long for the new-generation plane to become a degeneration plane after it’s struck by lightning and decides to do things its own way. It’s “War Games” in the skies, folks. Who didn’t see this one coming? Fortunately we have this elite group of Navy pilots that can be sent after the rouge machine and bring it down.
Let’s call a spade a spade here. “Stealth” is nothing but a big, dumb summer action flick – with a strong emphasis on “dumb.” But in a strange way, it works. It’s not an awesome film, but you’ll get exactly what you’d expect from “Stealth.”
Unlike last week’s excruciating “The Island,” “Stealth” doesn’t try to be something it’s not. The downfall of “The Island” was the Michael Bay tried to be thought-provoking and cerebral, but he failed miserably. There’s no failure in “Stealth” because it’s not even attempting anything cerebral… except in one place: apples. They show up everywhere. Green apples. What do they mean? I imagine they’re trying to do something clever, like oranges in “The Godfather,” but it just doesn’t work.
I’d use this as a strike against the movie, but it does throw in a couple shots of Jessica Biel in a bikini, so I can forgive it.
The movie runs long a bit, as any film does that lacks a semblance of a plot. However, it can be fun. The action has a lot of CGI work, with some shots that might give you motion sickness. It makes me long for the days when people actually blew something up instead of painting painfully artificial fire on a mountainside with a computer.
I’m not going to say that “Stealth” is a good movie. It’s okay. But at least I didn’t feel cheated with this one.