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Stealth (**)
Directed by Rob Cohen
Written by W.T. Richter
Stealth
Principal Cast
Josh Lucas -- Lt. Ben Gannon
Jessica Biel -- Kara Wade
Jamie Foxx -- Henry Purcell
Sam Shepard -- Capt. George Cummings
Richard Roxburgh -- Keith Orbit
Joe Morton -- Capt. Dick Marshfield
Ian Bliss -- Lt. Aaron Shaftsbury
Ebon Moss-Bachrach -- Josh Hudson
Michael Denkha -- Naval Controller
Rocky Helton -- Master at Arms
Ratings
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

I don't ask much from a Summer movie. I don't expect it to make sense. A few nice explosions are all I ask for and Stealth provides them, though Cliché might be a better title. You have your three Navy test pilots. You have your Black man who quotes the philosopher Hegel, listens to rap music, and chases women. He says, "One is a lucky prime number." One isn't prime, but what do you expect. It's a Summer movie. You have your White woman, who is just one of the boys, only better. From the pictures on her wall, she evidently has a little girl tucked away back home, but she never mentions her daughter and as far as we can tell never even thinks of her. She's in love with one of her teammates. Guess which one. Finally, you have your White man, who is an orphan with a reputation for breaking the rules. He is secretly in love with one of his teammates. Guess which one. He says, "Don't think, just drink."

spoiler warning

One of the three dies. Guess which one.

end of spoiler warning

Then you have the robot plane. He's downloading songs from the internet. Guess how many.

Everything in the film is a cliché -- all of the camera angles, all of the characters, all of the dialogue. Hey, isn't that how you are supposed to write a Summer movie?

There is a conspiracy that never makes much sense. Everything that the Navy officer and the Senator do in secret looks like S.O.P. to me. Certainly, the Navy officer never does anything that the Bush-appointed head of NASA didn't do.

And there are a lot of nice explosions.

There really is no point in listing all of the impossible things the movie asks you to believe, but I'll mention one just for fun. Clocking the speed of his jet, at about the speed it takes you to read the words aloud, the lead pilot says: "Mach One, Mach Two, Mach Three, Mach Four." The speed of sound is about 1000 feet per second, so they are accelerating at about 1000 feet per second per second. One g is 32 feet per second per second, so they are accelerating at about 30 g's. At 9 g's, your vision goes red. At 10 g's the capillaries in your eyes begin to burst.

spoiler warning for what happens after the end of the movie

The North Koreans retaliate by nuking Seoul, South Korea, killing millions. The hero is arrested for multiple counts of murder, for killing all those people in Alaska. The heroine is arrested for killing all those North Korean soldiers, since we are not at war with North Korea -- yet. The hero and heroine never face trial, because they are charged with starting World War III, and spirited away to Guantanamo Bay, and spend their honeymoon being tortured by the C.I.A. Meanwhile, the Koreans recover the intelligent computer that the hero left behind in their territory, win World War III, and rule the world.

If you sit through the whole movie, you might as well stick around for the perfectly predictable credit cookie.

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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