August 05, 2005 15:47 IST
Stealth is a movie not worth wasting your money or time on. By the second half, I was almost asleep. When I think about it now, I wish I was.
Set in the near future, the action begins with the US Navy putting together a team of three pilots to fly highly classified stealth fighter jets called Talons. A fourth member is suddenly added -- an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle called EDI or, as the heroes refer to it, 'Eddie'. EDI is equipped with an artificial intelligence program. In lay terms, this means it can fly by itself and has the capability to talk. Yes, this is one of those films�
The three pilots -- Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel [Images]) and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx [Images]) -- are opposed to having a fourth member. Nonetheless, commanding officer Capt George Cummings (Sam Shepard) insists, ordering the team to take EDI on a mission to eliminate terrorists in Burma.
Against Cummings' orders, the all-American blue-eyed Gannon bombs an abandoned building in an attempt to kill terrorists. He accomplishes this without civilian casualties, apparently.
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The terrorists, not surprisingly, dress like Middle-Eastern folk and have Middle-Eastern names. Stealth also seems to want to remind its viewers that the United States has other forces to worry about. US distrust of the Russians is implicit; the depiction of North Korea as a rogue enemy state, explicit. Russian planes are shot down, North Korean soldiers killed.
But enough of the politics. After the Burma mission, EDI is hit by lightning before it lands on an aircraft carrier. For some strange reason, this gives it the ability to think for itself!
It is dispatched by Cummings on another mission to Tajikistan. But, keeping Gannon's refusal to carry out an order in Burma in mind, EDI refuses to follow an order to bomb a warlord's hideout. The team figures that 500,000 civilians may be killed if an attack is carried out. EDI bombs the place nonetheless. We aren't sure about the fate of the 500,000, but EDI is suddenly the bad guy.
Watch the film to find out what happens next.
What, eventually, is director Rob Cohen telling us? Many die during the film, but the dead only comprise soldiers or terrorists. No civilians are killed. The problem is, at a time like this -- when abundant acts of terrorism are commonplace -- showing good guys win without civilians dying is a false, unrealistic view of the effects of war.
Then again, that will be the least of your worries while watching Stealth. It's disgusting and boring. And, you've been warned.