(PG-13) 2.5 StarsEd Johnson-Ott
Stealth is an aerial action dispos-a-flick that takes elements from movies and TV series such as Top Gun, WarGames, The Mod Squad, Pensacola: Wings of Gold and coughs up a splashy mess that only a 15-year-old boy could appreciate. Luckily, the spirit of a 15-year-old boy still lives within me, so I had a fairly good time at a sneak preview for the film. Of course, I didn't have to pay for it. Later, my thoughts kept drifting to the draggy parts, and I kept thinking about the sheer stupidity of the story, which is dopey even by summer movie standards. Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx (he did the film before Ray exploded) star as U.S. Navy test pilots flying highly classified stealth fighter jets. After a successful mission (and lots of cool flight scenes, even if the CGI sometimes looks a bit fake), the aces are given leave so that Jessica Biel can run around in a bikini. Then commanding officer Sam Shepard introduces the team to their new wingman, an artificial intelligence-based UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), nicknamed EDI (Extreme Deep Invader). EDI (called Eddie) soon goes nuts, of course. After downloading all the songs from the Internet (!), it starts pumping out dreadful '80s rock and questioning authority. All hell breaks loose, somebody crashes, somebody else gets caught behind enemy lines, you know the drill.
The cast is wasted and the screenplay keeps seesawing between bland and idiotic, but the fighter jets look great, the flight scenes are exciting and the explosions are cool, so I decided that the best course was to cooperate with Stealth. Of course, I made that decision at a free screening. I doubt I would have responded the same had I paid to attend.