121 minutes approx
Ben Gannon -
Kara Wade -
Henry Purcell -
George Cummings -
Written by -
Directed by -
A brand new, state of the art piece of military hardware, powered by the most up to date artificial intelligence, is struck by lightning on a test run. It generates a mind of its own and breaks out to do its own thing. The film is SHORT CIRCUIT directed by John Badham in 1986.
It's now 2005, the director is Rob Cohen (who made the subtle offerings of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, and XXX) and the film is STEALTH, which is about a brand new, state of the art piece of military hardware, powered by the most up to date artificial intelligence that is struck by lightning on a test run. It generates a mind of its own and breaks out to do its own thing. I think that you can see where I'm going with this, but it doesn't just stop there. TOP GUN is also referenced as is the Clint Eastwood flying turkey FIREFOX.
Originality (or lack of it) aside, what has STEALTH got going for it? Well it moves very quickly.
Is that it?
Actually yes. The plot is join the dots (or rather join the action sequences) and none of the actors are up to the task of fleshing that out at all (though I doubt that there are any others out there that could have done any better. Worse than that, it's nonsensical. One lightning strike and the machine's a psycho computer? Surely a 13amp fuse would have sorted out that problem. When the project leader (Sam Shepard) sees the whole thing going west, he sets up his last surviving free airman to be assassinated in a top secret base he just happens to have situated in the frozen wastes of Alaska (say what?). By this point disbelief hasn't been so much suspended as hung, drawn, quartered, ground up into mince, fried and offered up as McDonalds.
The acting is pretty join the dots as well. That's not surprising given the plot and the script. This film is about the planes and that is where the focus is. The CGI planes are caught somewhere between ultra-cool and kinda clunky, but they sure do move across that nonexistant sky. Whilst they're whizzing around doing their stuff, everything is moving fast enough that you don't notice the problems. The suddenly we're down on the ground and doing a whole BAT21 number in North Korea. Still, at least Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel give us some eye candy to get us through the hackneyed and rather dull talky, lovey dovey bits that pass for these pilots' lives.
STEALTH is a fast-moving rollercoaster ride, a thrilling experience that lasts as long as it passes in front of your eyes, but is forgotten as quickly as it takes the lights to come up and leaves a bad taste in the mouth like stale popcorn. Top
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