Stealth manages to be a passably bad movie until director Rob Cohen (xXx, The Fast and the Furious) and screenwriter W.D. Richter (Home for the Holidays, Needful Things) decided to get ambitious. Then, the film becomes downright awful. Lop the last half hour off Stealth, and it is merely annoying. This is what happens when somebody comes up with an idea they think is clever, then it makes their way through Hollywood. The future is now, and the Navy is using an experimental jet powered by artificial intelligence. It is state of the art, and irks top pilots Lt. Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas, Around the Bend, Undertow), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel, Blade: Trinity, Cellular), and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx, Ray, Collateral).
The trio signed up to participate in the cutting edge, yet a fourth artificial wingman (going by the name EDI) was not what they expected. They are immediately apprehensive. After all, they spent months training together, only to have a new 'person' thrust upon them. Gannon is concerned that a machine does not have instinct or moral values, but his superior, Capt. George Cummings (Sam Shepherd, The Notebook, Black Hawk Down) ignores all of his complaints. The first mission does not go according to plan, only because Gannon disobeys orders. He does not trust EDI, and takes matters into his own hands. The mission was still successful, but leaves Gannon with more doubts.
On the way back, a bolt of lighting strikes EDI, causing his systems to go haywire. Now, he seems to be learning from the people around him. Perhaps evolving. He decides that he doesn't like obeying orders, and goes rogue. Now, Gannon, Wade, and Purcell need to bring him back to the ship before EDI, who is armed with live missiles, inadvertently begins a war. Now this plot sounds interesting enough, but Cohen and Richter falter with nearly every decision.
The dialogue borders on corny. And there's much too much of it. There is no chemistry between Lucas and Biel, who are trying to fight an attraction to each other because it is taboo. Too much of the film takes place in the air, where Cohen goes on CGI overload, cutting quickly between shots and making lots of action incredibly dull. This means that Lucas, Biel, and Foxx get to sit and read idiotic lines while computers render the landscape around them. To rectify this, there are random shots of Biel in a bikini. Probably just to keep people awake. The filmmakers give EDI a computer generated voice, and as he gets "smarter," his phrases go from mechanical to more natural. It sounded lame in Congo, and sounds lame here. This brings things back to the last half hour. The story takes a turn so downright ridiculous that it is laughable.
|Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.|
|1 hour, 41 minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense action, some violence, brief strong language, and innuendo.|
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