Stealth will have action fans on a rollercoaster ride that is furious and mindless, but not nearly fast enough.
Director Rob Cohen goes extreme using the prototypes of Top Gun and 2001: A Space Odyssey. He tries to take your breath away with the story of very bright naval pilots out to help the military with an unmanned fighter aircraft. It turns out the humans have nothing on the latest technology dubbed EDI or "Eddie". His CPU or brain is a rather colorful gleaming ball in the cockpit. Too bad the script by W.D. Richter has no signs of being more imaginative than a streaming, inane rock video.
Jamie Foxx is one of the lead actors on view, along with Jessica Biel (Blade: Trinity) and Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama). For Foxx, it must be the curse of winning Oscar for Ray, because even though he shot this before his victory, he must have known from reading the script that there wasn't much besides explosions and incomprehensible aerial maneuvers. He had to have been misled into believing something wonderful about this stealth of a summer blockbuster that is running on empty before takeoff.
The primary disappointment that takes Stealth into the highway of cinematic danger zones is the way it shows no confidence with the material that is reflected by the cinematography hardly keeping the essential flow of action in frame. If some thought Top Gun was just silly, cocky summer movie excitement, then Cohen reigns in haywire territory with a lightning strike as Eddie starts to become a dangerous prototype of digital warfare and one of our appealing, handsome pilots meets an abrupt end.
There is exotic zig-zagging from Thailand to Alaska to North Korea and back to San Diego as Eddie is the only thing with personality in a picture with the swagger of something state-of-the-art. The second half is a battle to control Eddie, vital to maintaining global stability with another power standing in for Russia when one of our heroes is caught in a virtual no-man's land. Sam Shepard's Capt. Cummings may remind some of the part Tom Skerritt played in Top Gun with a hidden agenda and in cahoots with a computer whiz (Richard Roxburgh), a character almost lifted from the far more credible War Games.
Like Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, there is opportunity for Lucas and the sinewy Biel to sizzle on-screen, but the woefully underwritten script has nothing for their characters to develop any chemistry. And, with all of the high octane technology, the culminating solemn scene aboard an aircraft carrier has no emotion to it because of the enhanced heavy-handed improbabilities throughout. One mentions "permission to be detached" and "fearing being replaced by computers." Stealth is pre-programmed for those awesome moments to soar into hostile territory and light up the sky, but it's opaque to what really soothes an audience who would rather play against Eddie on their PC.