Retro Review: Stealth

Let’s say that Stanley Kubrick’s HAL from the classic “2001: A Space Odyssey” starred in the 1986 cheese-ball actioner “Iron Eagle” then you might have an idea to what “Stealth” actually is.

Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel are the best and brightest pilots the Navy has ever known. But during a routine mission, their commanding officer (Sam Shepard) says there will be a change in their flight plan. They will be getting a fourth wingman.

The catch is that this fourth wingman is actually a highly experimental deep combat aircraft (EDI) that uses artificial intelligence to navigate and control the plane.

Are naval pilots eventually going to be replaced by machines?

Everything seems to be going that way until a freak lightning storm strikes the EDI and the hunt is on to bring down this aircraft before it is discovered by the enemy and destroys human life.

“Stealth” is what I commonly refer to as a “paycheck” flick. Basically everyone involved is on auto-pilot and just go through the motions.

Everything is timed to the last second including an actor’s emotions. It feels so routine that the film feels like it was created by a HAL like computer. It is soulless and hollow.

The action sequences and amazing dogfights are fun to watch but the story is just so ludicrous we never really care even if they are nose-bleedingly real and perfectly executed.

I kind of liked Josh Lucas as a leading man and would like to see more of him in the action genre but please give this guy a decent script next time.

Jamie Foxx is on auto-pilot as he spits out one-liners like some Arnold Schwarzenegger clone.

Then there’s Jessica Biel, well I won’t go there.

I kind of liked seeing Sam Sheperd playing some corrupt guy since he always seems like such a gentle man but I never really felt he was threatening.

Director Rob Cohen knows how to make action films and how to sculpt great action sequences but I really do feel the poor man got really bored when making this flick.

I can see why he made this opposed to the XXX sequel though. It is marginally better than that film.

“Stealth” is a flash in the pan and if you blink you will miss the substance.

(2 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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