Stealth
Is it just me or does it look like they’re ignoring Jamie Foxx?

Theatrical Release Date: 07/29/2005
Director: Rob Cohen
Cast: Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx

Here it is folks. The long anticipated review of “Stealth”. The world has been waiting with baited breath to see what Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, hot Seventh Heaven bad girl Jessica Biel and generally unrecognized actor Josh Lucas would pop up in next. Without giving too much away in regards to my opinion of the film, let’s just say it will take quite an accomplishment to knock this film from the top of this year’s list … for most horrible film that’s fun to watch.

Let me just get some of the perpetrators out of the way and then I’ll get on to the “film”. Make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position, this one may take a while.

“Stealth” is brought to us by Rob Cohen, the creative genius behind such cinematic marvels as “The Fast and the Furious”, “XXX”, and “The Skulls”. At this point, I think it’s safe to say he’s the first honorary inductee into the Horribly Fun Film Director Academy. The statue that I would send to his house, if I both knew where he lived and had any extra money, would be shaped as a giant Thumbs Up with a small inscription on the thumbnail that reads “your ass”.

Sadly the writer of the film is a personal hero of mine, W.D. Richter. He wrote the script for “Big Trouble In Little China” and directed “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension”. I wish he had just combined the two films and delivered Cohen “Big Trouble Across The 8th Dimension”. Instead, the world is left to gasp, hem and haw over “Stealth”.

From the trailers, the audience is led to believe the film is about an unmanned fighter jet that goes a little nutty after a lightning strike and needs to be put down before it strikes populated areas with its devastating payload. The audience was fooled. Big time. That’s only the plot of the first half of the film. Yes, by about the 1 hour 20 minute mark, the psychotic smart plane problem has been resolved. That leaves 39 minutes to develop, nurture and botch a secondary main plot about a pilot down behind enemy lines. To borrow a phrase from a fellow great intellect, “Oh, the humanity!”

And on a personal note, from the trailers I was hoping to get a nice, long scene of Biel in that blue bikini. Well, she was in it, but that scene was barely longer than the trailer. For shame, Mr. Cohen!

There are so many things to discuss about this film, I could earn a doctorate. I’ll sum up a few major issues here: Cohen uses stretched aspect ratios like it was a good idea, a shaky zoom cam to be particularly annoying and after about half the film, I took off my glasses and didn’t notice it made no difference until about 10 minutes were left.

Think about that. Or don’t and go with the crappy dialogue spewed forth in lines like “You know what I think? Don’t think. Drink.” I have a hazy memory of saying something eerily familiar at a kegger my sophomore year in college.

Also on the “Good God Why?!?” list are the overuse of acronyms (OoAs). Within the first half an hour, you’ll hear what feels like a dozen acronyms, all so they can use them with abandon the last three quarters of the film.

Onto more interesting tidbits about “Stealth”. The Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) for some reason decided to download every song on the Internet (and this was before it gets hit with lightning). While idiosyncratic, the odd part is that with a library of basically every song in human history, EDI (which stands for Extreme Deep Invader and is pronounced “Eddie”) chooses to play only one Incubus song. Putting aside that the name of the UCAV sounds like a porn movie, think about the fact that you will hear that ONE Incubus song about 7 times. In fact, it’s the only song in the movie aside from something in Foxx’s headphones during one of the opening scenes. Look, I like Incubus. I don’t like them that much.

Ok, next. Although Lucas, Biel and Foxx are the chosen 3 (of 400 so says the opening exposition titles) and although they are the best pilots the United States Navy has to offer, they still act like it’s a high school after-prom party. Also odd is that they go to a club after their first mission and while every other person there is wearing some hip, nightclub-like attire, these three aces are all wearing their Navy whites. Why I ask you? Why?!?

Onto more specific notes, I found myself quite annoyed with Biel’s role in the troika. She was essentially the collateral damage inspector (CDI also stands for Could Damage Intellect), and always chimed in with some moral quandary right before the Navy is supposed to take out some terrorists in a crowded area. How does the Navy choose such a pansy to be a test pilot on its next-generation fighter program? How?!?

Back onto EDI. Obviously there are going to be some similarities between it and Hal from “2001”. But to really compare the two is to take a magnet to Hal’s memory chips. Suffice to say, EDI is portrayed like a teenager, looking for a moral compass in the film. I’m almost surprised Cohen didn’t develop a third main plot to really explore these issues. Surprised but thankful. Two hours of “Stealth” is almost too much.

So what have we learned? Rob Cohen makes a crappy, explosion-laden movie just about every time he’s green lighted by a studio. Foxx, Biel, and Lucas will need to dig themselves out of some career holes. And movies with more than one main plot tend to be too long. Oh, and whenever you develop a situation around invading North Korea and Russia, maybe that plot point should be bigger than one about a fried CPU. Just a thought.

Loyal followers of The Sobering Conclusion will see “Stealth” again come the annual rankings. But for now, keep in mind I’m bestowing a surprisingly hard to attain 1 out of 5. Aside from mentally transporting yourself to a happy place for 2 hours, you will need to drink an entire case of Olympia to enjoy this film. And keep in mind when I say a case of Olympia, I mean a case that’s been frozen, defrosted and dropped about 100 times in a year.

Believe me, when you’re in the theater restroom enjoying the auto-flush feature as you vomit over and over again, you’ll be thanking me for finding a way to get you out of your seat. Even if only for a little bit.