5 out of 10
"Rubbish" Richter's latest Tosh
Surprised is barely the word for it, for it was not the technology in "Stealth" which amazed me as the development of smart drones for air combat has been well publicised, but that the movie was not remotely the undiluted drivel that other reviewers, friends and even its own trailer would me to believe. I cannot deny that the start, as the opening half hour is just a repititious set of we-don't-trust-the-computerised-stealth-bomber monologues by those pilots who are to accompany it, a team of five consisting of Lt Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Lt Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx), Lt Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) and Jessica Biel's feet, stomping across the screen like a pair of steamer trunks.
A basic premise in scriptwriting is that the bad guys whilst the heroes achieve some improvement to the soul of their character through their experience to be better people at the end of the story. Having expected no more that the classic tale of a crazy computer that becomes self-aware, taking its revenge on its human masters, it was interesting to see as EDI, the experimental supercomputer onboard the US Air Forces most advanced Stealth fighter, grows in learning and in character to gain an appreciation of right and wrong, and steps into help his human wingmen against a corrupt defence establishment which has all the moral calibre of a pocket calculator.
Despite being reportedly one of the highest paid writers in Hollywood, WD "Rubbish" Richer has been responsible for some truly forgettable celluloid bombs and Stealth certainly has plenty to hate about it. With lines are corny they might as well have printed the Kelloggs logo on the posters, it again repeats the usual shrill nonsense that the world is crawling with crazy "towelhead" terrorists warlords, all about to nuke Denver unless the USA squanders zillions on spraying them with the most advanced white hot shrapnel that money can buy. And as these camel drivers who decided to attack the USA, supposedly for no apparant reason, scrape up the shreds of yet more of their kiddies from the ruins of their incinerated mud huts, the American pilots, of course, after every mission need several days to recover from the stress on all-expenses-paid trips, accompanied by a gang of sleasy sluts, to some tropical paradise, usually the one where they've just bombed the capital to bits.
Like his near namesake, Baron von Richthofen, Rubbish Richter tries his best to shoot the movie down with his crummy script. Disposing of Jamie Foxx at the first sign of trouble, that he might have well have had the sign "Token Black" painted on the back of his uniform, Rubbish Richter toys around with a crass love affair that's about as fresh, hot and exciting as a tub of last night's lard between Biel's Wade and Lucas's Gannon whose eyes are such electric blue he looks like a spiced-up Fremen out of Dune. With even the Studio claiming Stealth features the largest stunt explosion in the history of the motion picture industry at the heart of their publicity, hardly a testimony to the quality of the dialogue, the whole project seems a recipe for well boiled tripe...and yet it still seems to function, just like one of those Second World War Flying Fortresses with half a wing shot off that seems to fly home on will-power alone. Inexplicably, Stealth doesn't fail to entertain, certainly in it's final reel, with a couple of plot twists and the sheer endearing nature of EDI bringing it home for a safe and happy landing.
Film Critic: Robert L Thompsett