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Directed by Rob Cohen.
Written by W.D. Richter.
Starring Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx.
Release Year:  2005
Review Date:  8/1/05


All signs that "Stealth" should have been dogshit were presented upfront.  Directed by Rob Cohen, who in giving us "xXx" and "The Fast and the Furious" informed us that substance is for suckers, you knew that "Stealth" would be light and fluffy, like a perfect biscuit on a Sunday morning.  You also knew that since this film was apparently completed before "Ray" came out, Jamie Foxx is not the star of this film and probably had something to do with this flick being delayed many months before being dumped onto the public in late summer.  And, has Josh Lucas--good-looking, sure...talented, no way--ever been in a good movie?

"Stealth" does have the incredible sense of speed that his other films of late have provided, and it does have Jessica Biel...otherwise, it is not too memorable.  Three Navy pilots (Foxx, Biel and Lucas) have been selected as the wingmates for numerous stealth missions to take out terrorists all over the globe...AND as the test dummies to fly alongside an unmanned supercraft that is some mix of KITT and HAL 9000.  This supercraft is pretty sweet for a while, covering the asses of the three human-controlled fighters and taking out targets remotely...and then, it gets hit by lightning, rupturing its innards and making it go wacko in the blink of an eye.

What follows is not a bad action film, but still nothing to write home about.  The special effects of "Stealth" are pretty much all we can count on--in fact, I don't think a single aerial shot featured a real plane or explosion--and when the movie is in the air, it's not bad.  Naturally, any time we have to watch Biel and Lucas act, we are in trouble, and Foxx is not in this film long enough to factor into the proceedings after the roboto-jet goes haywire.  Sam Shepard, playing the director of the roboto-jet program, does his best to stay interested, and the film has senseless-yet-efficient action sequences on the ground in the last 30 minutes of screen time.  The whole time, I'm thinking

"Man, this is looking real expensive for a movie about absolutely nothing.  It really doesn't make any sense whatsoever.  But, Jessica Biel is crazy-hot and I love watching other planes get shot down by missile fire."

and you ride that wave for the entire 120-minute running time of the film.  Certainly you could do worse.  The dialogue is bad, but not awful; there are a million ways that the filmmakers could have cut 30 minutes out of this flick, easy.  A sequence where Biel's character has to eject takes--no lie--five minutes.  She gives a play-by-play of what's happening as she is falling, and while I thought that no one person could talk so calmly while in freefall from 30,000 feet, I would have just made the decision to have her eject and do the obligatory land-in-tree-while-caught-hanging-by-your-chute-straps.  Hey, I'm just one man, but I could have saved everybody about five minutes' worth of special effects cash.

But, you get what you pay for, and if you only drop $6 bucks you won't feel that bad that you saw it in the theater.  "Stealth" is destined to be on TV for the next 30 years on TBS on a Saturday afternoon, taking the place of the now-20-year-old Clint Eastwood stealth flick "Firefox."  How's THAT for pulling shit out of my ass!

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09