A squadron of US Naval Air Force elite pilots has been trained to fly the Stealth combat plane. But the three ace fliers, Lt Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx), under the command of Capt. George Cummings (Sam Shepard), are jerked out of training routine with the latest unmanned combat plane with AI, designed by eccentric genius Keith Orbit (Richard Roxburgh), when its system is damaged and it defies human orders, threatening the safety of civilian populations and invading foreign airspace in pursuit of attack objectives. The pilots have to neutralise the defiant machine before it precipitates a nuclear war. And they also have to deal with a rogue military commander ...
Review by Louise Keller:
There is no shortage of special effects in this plastic Hollywood actioner whose appeal is limited to undiscerning teenage boys dreaming of becoming a jet-fighter pilot. The plot is about a super high-tech stealth plane with a mind of its own and has more going for it than the one-dimensional characters. They're as slick as the planes they fly - Top Guns, who joke a lot, have an easy rapport and are easy on the eye. They even drink martinis the night before they fly. But there's competition when EDI (Extreme Deep Invader), the stealth jet that thinks for itself jets in, and suddenly it is clear that EDI has a mind of its own. This results in a top-secret mission that goes wrong, an ejecting parachute that catches on fire and falls into hostile North Korea, and conspiracy at the highest level.
The cast does everything that's required of them and the unspoken romance between Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel is well implied, if predictable. Jamie Foxx is wasted as one of the chosen three, but Sam Shepard has substance as their commander in chief. I did like Richard Roxburgh though, whose brilliant stealth creator - aptly named Keith Orbit - comes across as an intriguing, if under-developed character. Don't blink, or you'll miss the talked-about Megan Gale walk-on, as Orbit's curvaceous secretary.
Creatively as arid as the barren Australian desert, Stealth is far too long at 2 hours, despite excellent special effects by our own Animal Logic, who at least will keep some video-game hungry fans absorbed.
There's a special multi-angle scene deconstruction feature on the DVD, together with features on the making of and the music of Stealth.
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STEALTH: DVD (M)
CAST: Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Richard Roxburgh, Joe Morton, Ian Bliss, Ebon Boss-Bachrach
PRODUCER: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Neal Moritz, Laura Ziskin
DIRECTOR: Rob Cohen
SCRIPT: W.D. Richter
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dean Semler
EDITOR: Stephen Rivkin
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jonathan Lee, J. Michael Riva
RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 8, 2005
PRESENTATION: Widescreen 2.40: 1/enhanced for 16:9 tvs
SPECIAL FEATURES: Harnessing Speed - behind the scenes documentary on the making of Stealth; behind the scenes feature 'The Music of Stealth'; special multi-angle scene deconstruction; music video; extra hidden features
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: January 25, 2005
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays in February, following a FREE introductory screening on February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.