Cast: Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Richard Roxburgh, Joe Morton, Ian Bliss, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Michael Denkha
Director: Rob Cohen
Screenplay: W.D. Richter
Rated: M moderate violence, infrequent coarse language
Running Time: 121 Minutes
Fear The Sky
This high-action flight movie centres on a team of three sexy stealth bomber pilots who are forced to fly with EDI (Extreme Deep Invader), a computer-manned prototype plane that specializes in extra-precision bombing. The brainchild of a Bill Gates-esque wunderkind (Richard Roxburgh), EDI has the ability to learn at a fantastic rate, talks like HAL from '2001 A Space Odyssey', and likes to listen to hard rock before going into combat. Before long, a freak accident causes it to question authority and launch an attack on Russia.
Kara Wade (Jessica Biel), Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) and Lt. Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas) are three elite stealth bomber pilots who, according to Purcell, make the perfect team. Happy with this scenario, they are then informed by their Captain, George Cummings (Sam Shephard) that they now have a new wingman, a pilot-less proto-type plane, the EDI (Extreme Deep Invader), that will fly with them on their missions. Of course, it doesn't take too many brains to figure out that this new computer-manned plane is going to start making decisions for itself, irrespective of its orders.
As the new team take off, they fly combats over many countries in a very short amount of time and very soon are in serious danger as the EDI becomes more and more erratic, especially after its encounter with a lightning strike, which affects its "brain" and the suspicious instructions from Captain Cummings. The threesome suspects something is not right here and set about to right the wrongs.
'Stealth' is loaded with special effects; although sometimes they are a little too obviously computer generated which really looks tacky when some of the effects are so spectacular. This is also one action filled movie that relies heavily on planes involved in combat and fighting sequences to gain thrills but it does also have a few softer moments to try to balance the action. Trouble is, these softer moments are cliché riddled and could probably have been left out.
Character development is sadly lacking, although there is the ongoing will-they-won't-they relationship between Gannon and Wade. There is no history of how the top three came to be chosen from the 400 that applied for the pilot jobs, they are simply just there and we are to accept them at face value.
Plausibility is one of the main downfalls of 'Stealth' in that so many times the events are just too far beyond the realm of believability. How Biel's character survives ejecting from her exploding aircraft, lands with a virtually non-existent parachute, is shot by North Korean soldiers, and still manages to make it to the South Korean border with barely a hair out of place is really stretching the credibility. Cynical? Yes, but it is almost an insult to think that the audience is going to buy the action without questioning the odds of her survival.
Still, there is an audience out there somewhere for 'Stealth' and it might be small but they will certainly enjoy the explosive action and the sightseeing tour of the world (mostly Australia though, where it was mainly filmed).
Rating : **