When Top Gun meets WarGames
There is most definitely an audience who will like "Stealth", they will enjoy all the far fetched nonsense, the countless over the top action sequences and the trio of good looking stars, but I'm not one of them. For me "Stealth" was painful as it substitutes storyline for layers of action interweaved with corny dialogue and more special effects that my brain could deal with. In fact at times "Stealth" felt like it was deliberately parodying the machismo of movies such as "Top Gun" with dialogue which is so corny it was embarrassing that I didn't know whether it was being serious or trying to be funny.
Having been selected from over 400 candidates pilots Ben Gannon, Kara Wade and Henry Purcell (Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx) have been trained to be the best of the best, an elite force of stealth pilots who tackle anti terrorism. Sent on active duty aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in the Philippine Sea the trio are surprised when they are joined by a fourth member of their team, an unmanned plane code named EDI which is controlled by artificial intelligence. Following their first mission, EDI is struck by a bolt of lightening and begins to go haywire causing it to disobey orders and selecting missions for itself. As EDI becomes more dangerous Gannon, Wade and Purcell are forced to try and bring it back whilst it appears that Captain George Cummings (Sam Shepard - The Notebook) their superior has been hiding certain truths.
Making sense of the storyline to "Stealth" is not hard, finding a point is impossible because there isn't one. "Stealth" is a movie designed and built for modern audiences who don't care much for a solid storyline, but revel in action and special effects. As such the storyline about top gun pilots who find themselves teamed up with a unmanned computer piloted plane ends up for the most inconsequential. And in a way it's a good job too because not only is there little storyline to be had but also what there is doesn't meld, especially the underused and cliche romantic subplot between pilots Gannon and Wade.
So what we get with "Stealth" is a movie all about the action. It starts with an action montage and then pretty much every 5 minutes after there is another action scene before it ends up as just one long action sequence as Gannon tries to bring the rogue unmanned plane home, at the same time learning to appreciate it's use, something which is totally cheesy. Now I will admit that if you like effects driven action scenes then those in "Stealth" will entertain, there are lots of them and some of them are quite spectacular. But after the 3rd or 4th mid air action it all ends up a bit repetitive and even the big set pieces including an in air refuelling scene ends up lacking that real wow factor.
What doesn't help "Stealth" is that it comes over as cheesy as between several cliche scenes and moments of corny dialogue it feels like it's almost a parody. But it seems to also be taking itself seriously, trying to be an impressive action movie and that mix doesn't work. You can't but help laugh as Gannon, Wade and Purcell walk along a flight deck in their pilot's uniform in a scene pinched from half a dozen other greater movies and that is not the only one. It ends up bordering on the comical and not for the right reasons.
As for the acting well the trio of Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx all look good but you couldn't say that any of them impart a brilliant performance. Even Jamie Foxx who tries to find the emotion of his character struggles as he gets some of the clunkiest dialogue and Lucas seems to be trying to give his take on a 'Maverick' character but ends up going over board in the process.
What this all boils down to is that "Stealth" is a movie which will probably appeal to those who like their movies thick with action and heavy with special effects but for those who expect some form of depth will most likely end up frustrated. It almost seems confused as it tries to be serious yet through cliche scenes and corny dialogue it ends up almost becoming a parody of the likes of "Top Gun.