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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.6%
Worth A Look: 3.45%
Average: 8.05%
Pretty Bad: 32.18%
Total Crap51.72%

9 reviews, 33 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"Makes you wish they had ejector seats in theaters, too."
2 stars

Beware of movies in which the human characters are less important than the machines. Your motorcycle movies and drag-racing movies and airplane-flying movies -- these usually neglect their humans because they know their male target audience is more interested in the vroom-vroom and the rat-a-tat-tat anyway. And hence, these movies usually suck.

In no way breaking free from the legacy of suckitude set forth by such films (and indeed directed by Rob Cohen, of "The Fast and the Furious") is "Stealth," about a top-secret Navy air force jet that can talk, fly without a pilot, carry out missions, go rogue, defy orders, kill whomever it deems its enemy, all without a single "2001: A Space Odyssey" reference (or even a "Top Gun" reference, for that matter). It's artificial intelligence at its finest, and never have the words "artificial intelligence" seemed so fitting.

This, my friends, is a grandly stupid movie. Yet it's not even the magical talking airplane concept that sinks it. Goodness knows there have been reasonably good movies made on that subject in the past; why, "Knight Rider" ran for four seasons and no one minded that it featured David Hasselhoff being bossed around by a gay automobile.

No, the failure of "Stealth" comes in its execution, in its porn-quality dialogue and ridiculous story lines, in its twists that defy all logic and reason, in its 100-percent gratuitous scene where the hot young pilot and his hot lady-pilot friend wear small bathing suits while cavorting near a waterfall. I submit that when your movie is about a magical talking airplane, and yet the magical talking airplane is NOT the silliest thing about the movie, then you should not make any more movies.

Our trio of pilot heroes -- Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) -- are at sea on the USS Abraham Lincoln when they first meet their non-human teammate. The jet, designed and programmed by eggheads in Seattle, is called Extreme Deep Invader (EDI), or "Eddie," and he's very polite. He speaks with the crisp, passionless tones that all movie computers speak with, in this case voiced by actor Wentworth Miller. (If you are good at talking like that, maybe your voice could be in a movie, too.)

Ben, Kara and Wade are wary of Eddie, but they get a chance to see him in action when he tags along on an emergency mission to Myanmar (which is what they're calling Burma these days). See, the heads of three terrorist cells are meeting together in the city of Rangoon, and it would be just super if we could pop over there and kill them all at once. Oh, but we only JUST found out about it, and the meeting commences in just 24 MINUTES!! So, you know, hurry. Luckily, the Navy's planes, Eddie included, can do something like Mach 7, so Rangoon is never very far away. Also luckily, the terrorists are meeting in a building that is completely abandoned and uninhabited, meaning only bad guys will be killed with no collateral damage whatsoever. Also luckily, Ben figures out a way to implode the building so that the neighboring buildings aren't affected. This is because it would be wrong to kill innocent bystanders.

Later, Eddie inevitably goes a little crazy -- I think he's jealous of Ben, actually, and you can see why, considering Ben has those big dimples and great smile and Eddie is an airplane. Whether Eddie is in love with Kara, too, I don't know; maybe he should talk to Herbie the Love Bug about overcoming crushes on human women. None of this is my concern.

But anyway, Eddie wants to carry out another mission, that of killing bad guys in Tajikistan who have nuclear weapons, but doing so would kill several hundred bystanders. Kara expresses her dismay at such an outcome by declaring, "Farmers, Ben! They're just farmers!"

Which they are, but Eddie does the mission anyway, gets the bad guys, and kills the farmers, too. Bad Eddie! Bad magical talking airplane! Don't you know that all non-terrorist life is precious? Of course you don't. You're a magical talking airplane that doesn't have feelings.

But wait, it gets better. When Kara is stranded in North Korea -- don't ask why; it's stupid -- Ben convinces Eddie to help him go rescue her! Ben and Eddie, once rivals, become friends! It's so awesome.

Oh, and Ben and Kara's commanding officer Capt. Cummings (Sam Shepard) wants them dead because they could testify about his extremely poor decisions, vis a vis letting Eddie go on missions even though he'd been behaving erratically. So they've got THAT to contend with.

But W.D. Richter's screenplay suffers its greatest blow in the way it handles the various foreign countries encountered by Ben and company. First they accidentally enter Russian airspace while chasing Eddie. When the Russians show up believing themselves to be under attack (quite understandably, given there are three U.S. fighter jets dashing around their airspace), our heroes' response is to shoot them all out of the sky. No attempt is made to explain what's happened, to maybe enlist the Russians' help in stopping the rogue Eddie. Nope, we just kill them. And this is Russia, one of the places we're on reasonably good terms with.

The same thing happens when Kara lands in North Korea -- really, seriously, don't ask how she gets there -- and local soldiers come after her. She barely even tries to escape without engaging them. As soon as she gets her hands on a weapon, she opens fire.

Let's say you come home one night really drunk and you accidentally enter your neighbor's house rather than your own. Then, when your neighbor comes downstairs with his gun to investigate the noise he heard, you shoot him. That's pretty much what we're talking about here.

So in short, while it might seem like a good idea to go watch the movie about the magical talking airplane, it turns out that's actually a bad idea. I know, it's hard to imagine a magical-talking-airplane movie letting you down, but there you go.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/29/05 14:22:04
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User Comments

8/13/08 Shaun Wallner This movie has some great scenes in it. 5 stars
6/16/07 al smith leave your brain at the door and you will have a good time 4 stars
4/19/07 Stevo UK As pleasurable as a meteor strike to the balls. 1 stars
2/23/07 David Pollastrini Jessica Biel is hot! 2 stars
9/30/06 Stanley Thai Filled with great action scenes and a good plot. Come on people, where's the love? 3 stars
7/28/06 drydock54321 do you really think he could have found her from the air and all the landscape. 2 stars
7/27/06 Alonso Bonilla bleak, boring, and just plain stupid, people, do not watch this movie! 1 stars
2/06/06 cody a pretty good action flick, with edge seat action scenes! fun time 4 stars
12/29/05 tony Not even close. This movie is without a doubt one of the worst movies in hollywood! 1 stars
12/22/05 tina mateer boring!!! If it did not cost so much to go see, would of left right away 1 stars
12/18/05 J.D. Pittman III Come on people! You know that movie was tight! 5 stars
12/05/05 Carolyn good explosions and sfx, nice eye candy worth a rental 3 stars
11/29/05 JH Oh Dear God. Make It Stop. Killer Tomatos was better. 1 stars
11/28/05 ELI Planes fall down go BOOM! That's a pretty complex plot! Eh, the planes looked nice 2 stars
11/27/05 Evil Wolfie The action was nice looking..... at least. 3 stars
11/25/05 shaun wallner i thought this movie was pretty good but i didnt like the music 2 stars
11/23/05 Narcs Cool planes.. but too fake and video game oriented. 3 stars
11/14/05 Lanie Richardson Not the best movie... but I liked it. 4 stars
10/12/05 Josh Swanson Not the greatest movie, but Jessica Biel ain't bad on the eyes. 2 stars
10/05/05 Ava Rice Jessica Biel thinks her shit don't stink; otherwise film coulda been 90% more watchable. 3 stars
10/03/05 poo it's so bad it's funny. good for a larf. 2 stars
9/17/05 Green Gremlin Makes "Top Gun" look like "Saving Private Ryan" !!! 2 stars
9/14/05 Pinkline Jones Cohens couldn't direct a turd down a Toto toilet 1 stars
9/14/05 Jonathon Holmes Foxx should be ashamed of himself 1 stars
9/12/05 Summer 2 hours too long! 2 stars
8/08/05 E Well, this is quite underrated 5 stars
8/08/05 ^ZuLu^ stereotypes - sfx - sfx - forseeable - stupid ending - yawn 1 stars
8/05/05 Jake Shocker A Thriller. 5 stars
8/01/05 KingNeutron Good FX, ridiculous dialogue, ridiculous plotline. 2 stars
7/31/05 ClaranceTheCobra If Jessica Biel Had balls, I'd probably lick 'em 2 stars
7/31/05 Naka Nope! 1 stars
7/27/05 Ice-T too heavy on the effects and blur 3 stars
7/26/05 WilliamPrice standard zoom and boom 3 stars
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  29-Jul-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 15-Nov-2005



Directed by
  Rob Cohen

Written by
  W.D. Richter

  Josh Lucas
  Jessica Biel
  Jamie Foxx
  Sam Shepard
  Joe Morton
  Richard Roxburgh

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