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Stealth - Review

Stealth

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary – harnessing Speed. Featurette – music of Stealth. 4 title multi-angles. Easter egg – designing the helmet.

DOES anyone remember the Tom Cruise line, ‘I feel the need; the need for speed’?

The Fast & The Furious director, Rob Cohen, certainly does given that his latest action extravaganza unfolds at such a high velocity, it almost papers over the movie’s many cracks.

Stealth is an interesting beast in that it seems to want to play dumb and act intelligent both at the same time.

It boasts a great cast, including Oscar-winner, Jamie Foxx, yet seems content to rip off other, better movies, from the obvious likes of Top Gun through to 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Right Stuff and even Rambo.

The premise is fairly simple. Three of the Navy’s finest fighter pilots – Foxx, Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel – are suddenly given a new ‘wing-man’ in the form of an artificial intelligence based UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) known as EDI.

The stealth fighter is a prototype designed to eliminate the human cost of war, yet it is frowned upon by the trio who fear its impact upon their careers.

When EDI malfunctions following a lightning strike it develops a mind of its own and begins to select random targets, placing the world at risk from a global nuclear armageddon.

The ensuing action-thriller unfolds at breakneck pace, pausing only briefly to debate the merits of war and technology and to allow Lucas and Biel the chance to develop a love-interest.

Sam Shepard crops up as a shady commanding officer intent on making EDI work (and then covering his tracks when it doesn’t), while global topics such as terrorism and North Korea are touched upon.

Yet any real moments of substance in Stealth are quickly blown away amid its numerous explosions and computer-generated effects.

Cohen’s primary objective is to entertain the pop culture obsessed masses and does so by stocking up on set pieces and reducing his actors to bit-part players.

Foxx is particularly wasted in a thankless role, while Biel exists purely to wear a bikini and heighten the eye candy. Only Lucas really manages to emerge with any credit.

Yet for all of its ghastly excesses, Cohen’s film retains an appeal that’s destined to earn it cult status among the best worst films of the moment.

It’s crass, loud and frequently excessive but somehow inoffensive as well.

For that reason alone, it should be filed under so dumb it’s fun!