Print Story Stealth - A Movie Review
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By 606 (Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 08:52:46 AM EST) (all tags)
Stealth is the best movie of the summer. And when I say best, what I mean is that it's the most hackneyed and predictable 130-million dollar piece of shit action flick of the year. Stealth has no intentional redeeming qualities whatsoever, and plays into every single textbook stereotype of the genre. Thus, if you're the kind of person who loves Mystery Science Theatre 3000, you must, must go see Stealth immediately.

(Note: I cross-posted this to IMDB.)



Stealth follows the exploits of three Navy pilots in a top secret program involving, well, experimental stealth fighters. There's Lt. Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas): the white-bread pretty-boy with a smarmy attitude with a history of breaking rules and taking too many risks, played like a twisted caricature of 'Maverick' Mitchell of Top Gun. There's Kara Wade (Jessica Biel): the obligatory Caucasian hottie pilot who spouts cliched feminist rhetoric and sports an "I can do anything you can do, better" attitude aligned more with the Spice Girls than Andrea Dworkin; the pink teddy lingerie and frilly bra she apparently wears under her LuLu Lemon flight suit don't help her cause either. Finally, there's Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) the black male who listens to rap music, has indiscriminate sex with as many women as possible, and poses for imaginary photographers in his bedroom. For no apparent reason he's also a mathematician and numerology nut who later expounds that "one is a prime number". Bonus points if you can guess which of these three is gonna die by the end of the movie.

The fourth character is "Tin Man", the artificially intelligent experimental stealth fighter assigned to the squadron. Its brain uses "quantum computation" and processes "20 terabits per second" which is pretty impressive until you realize the number doesn't make any sense. Having a computer as sympathetic character is a pretty cool idea. At least it was in 1968 when Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey, though Tin Man's inflective voice and bizarre penchant for rock music suggests a closer relation to Max-- the shipboard computer in Disney's Flight of the Navigator-- than HAL 9000. This doesn't stop the writers from making bizarre homages to Kubrick's space opus; in fact one major plot point centers on the computer overhearing a conversation in a scene shot much like HAL's famous lip-reading in the Pod. The computer also has a big red eye, which is dumb because it doesn't need to see anything with it, but cool because it helps the computer emote more effectively.

After a minor sortie in Rangoon (where "three terrorist leaders" are meeting in "a building still under construction" (which is important because now they can implode the building without killing any civilians-- go America!)), and then an extended Thailand vacation sequence where the pilots engage in tedious ham-fisted metaphysical discussions about whether Tin Man is actually alive, the computer predictably goes nuts and decides to attack a fortified terrorist camp in Tzadzikistan or something that just got access to some old Russian nuclear warheads and SCUD launchers. (We know they're terrorists because of the turbans and the fact that they're moving the warheads around on carts pulled by mules.) The nukes get blown up but radioactive dust falls down the mountain side and kills "thousands of innocent farmers" which I guess is bad but they don't spend too long worrying about it because they have to catch the psycho stealth.

Usual shit happens after that-- a pilot hits the side of a mountain and dies, another one goes down inexplicably in North Korea, and the remaining one has to avenge his friend's death and rescue the other pilot from the Koreans' evil clutches (again, guess which one dies and which one has to be saved.) The ability of these planes to be in Rangoon, Tzadzikistan, Russia, Alaska, and Korea on just a few tanks of gas is explained by their ability to hit hypersonic speeds exceeding Mach 5 which is cool because it's like warp speed on Star Trek-- they punch a button and the planes zip away in a bullet cone of displaced air and end up in a new locale more suitable for extreme aerobatics. They also get to fly against the Russians which is funny because the Russians obviously haven't built any new planes since the fall of the Soviet Union, which begs the question: why do the stealths have such trouble with them? Why don't they just hit the Mach 5 button and get out of there? Is there something about the shocking yellow and brown paint job on the anachronistic MIGs that impedes the functioning of hypersonic engines?

The plot isn't really important-- what is important is that the movie contains a wealth of braindead inaccuracies for geeks to make fun of. From bizarro phrases like "the Stealth has firewalled the transponder!" to the fact that the Stealth's brain is made alternately from quantum hardware, neural networks, and DNA sequences depending on which one looks coolest for the effects sequence, and was apparently programmed by hand by one man using a futuristic language reminiscent of Matlab, to the way that the naval command is powered by transparent lexan PC cases decked out with coloured LCD cooling fans, this movie just stinks of technical inaccuracy due to a complete lack of research as opposed to creative liberty.

Stealth is a movie that begs its own drinking game. It should be watched with a group of people in an environment that engenders snarky comments. Stealth is not a good movie in any way, shape, or form, but it is a film that has so stupefyingly bad it absolutely must be seen to be believed.

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Stealth - A Movie Review | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I think that I'll wait until it comes out on DVD by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 09:04:49 AM EST

Since they don't sell liquor in most of the theaters here, and none of them that would be running "Stealth", though you do make a compelling case for it.

Also, I can't help but read "another one goes down inexplicably in North Korea" as "another one goes down inexplicably on North Korea." The accompanying visual image is amusing, yet, also, strangely arousing. Enough so, even, to give Andrea Dworkin a woody. Were she not a woody, in a wooden box, herself.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
theatres. by aphrael (4.00 / 5) #2 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 09:17:35 AM EST
you're supposed to smuggle it in.

when my friend and i go see dukes of hazzard we'll be smuggling in pabst.

:)
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Dukes of Hazzard by 606 (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:45:34 AM EST
You'll need more than a few Pabst. How about some rot-gut moonshine just like them good ole boys drink ta get right liquored up b'fore the hootenany?

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imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
that's okay by 606 (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:35:39 AM EST
They have this thing called the Internet where they have movies from theatres that you can see without paying for!! It's almost criminal! Actually, it is criminal.

Or yeah, wait for the DVD and then round up any geek friends to watch it with a couple of cases of beer and some Tequila for good measure.

Heh, I forgot to mention that there's a scene in the movie where they say the AI downloads songs from the Internet and the main character guy says "heh, nobody tell the RIAA". It was very unfunny. Is there, like, a secret campaign by the RIAA to get their name featured in every current hollywood film? The only good one I saw was in House where some kid shoved an MP3 player up his ass and Dr. House said to "watch out for illegal downloads" IYKWIM.

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imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
I just moved by Jave 27 (4.00 / 2) #16 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 05:13:32 AM EST
to a place that's none-too-far from a theatre that serves drinks during the movie.  It's only about $9 per ticket, and your groups gets to sit around a table drinking during the flick.  I haven't got to see a show there, but I hear great things.

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Thisisnotreallymysig

[ Parent ]
If you go by 606 (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 09:57:37 AM EST
don't forget to pre-drink for Stealth. Alcohol prices being what they are these days.

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imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
Considering by Jave 27 (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 11:30:36 AM EST
the markup at normal cinemas on normal beverages and food stuffs, I can only Emagine how much it must be to embibe in teh alcolohol.

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Thisisnotreallymysig

[ Parent ]
lululemon by theantix (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 09:22:54 AM EST
I heard lululemon CEO Chip Wilson interviewed on the radio once, he was asked about the origin of the name of the company.  His response was that in his previous experience at Westbeach, they had noticed that Japanese customers had an interesting tendancy to purchase clothing that featured text that was difficult to pronouce by native Japanese speakers.  Thus, lululemon.  He said in a joking way, but I think there was at least a hint of truth to what he was saying...


Sure, you've got the facts on your side -- but that's just your opinion.
Is that how it's spelled by 606 (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:30:41 AM EST
Honestly I didn't know Lululemon was that popular a brand. Some of my friends were saying it but I had no idea how big the company was. I didn't even know how to spell it!

Considering "A Bathing Ape" is a popular company amongst Japanese kids, I tend to agree with that logic.

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imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
It's pretty big in Vancouver by theantix (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:48:16 AM EST
Five stores in greater Vancouver/Whistler... and about 20 in Canada, and a couple more scattered through US/AU/JP.  Perhaps it just has a high profile there in the media because the CEO is media-savvy and it's a successful local company.


Sure, you've got the facts on your side -- but that's just your opinion.
[ Parent ]
I'LL GO FOR THE BONUS POINTS! by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 4) #4 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 09:48:15 AM EST

The bitch goes down and the black dude dies while the smarmy white dude saves the chick so he can have hot seXX0rz with her for the big finish!

And no, I haven't seen the movie. But I've seen it's thousands and thousands of predecessors. (Not all of them, but enough.)

yes by 606 (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:37:34 AM EST
You picked up on the necessary action flick cliche which is "the black dude always dies". Why's Hollywood's always gotta keep a brotha down? Sheeet.

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imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
I wanna make a movie. by Awakened Dreamer (4.00 / 3) #12 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 12:47:12 PM EST

It'd have a white chick, a black chick, and a smarmy white dude. The smarmy white dude would die, then the black chick would save the white chick and have hot seXXorz for the big finish.

It's going to make MILLIONS I tell you. MILLIONS!

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ya no by 606 (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 01:03:53 PM EST
Isn't interracial sex frowned on by Red states or something? Ergo, you won't make money, but maybe you can get some cred at Sundance.

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imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
the red states would ban it for gayness by infinitera (4.00 / 2) #14 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 02:55:51 PM EST

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

[ Parent ]
Silly by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:38:08 AM EST
the Mach 5 isn't a button, it's a car!
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heh by 606 (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Aug 09, 2005 at 10:43:14 AM EST
The hypersonic Stealth actually looks a lot like that car. Except, like, without the wheels.

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imagine dancing banana here
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i thought it was a razor. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 09:03:43 AM EST


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I dunno, I only like airplane movies by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #15 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 01:54:37 AM EST
Where despite being loaded down with weapons with a 2 jillion mile range, all the combat takes place at distances of ten feet or less.  Can you assure me that Stealth fulfills his vital requirement?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
oh yes, absolutely by 606 (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 08:15:06 AM EST
The concept of "missle lock" is pretty redundant in this film. Average dogfighting range is about 30 metres. Which is really cool because the black pilot gets to chase after the Stealth really close behind in a deep and twisty canyon instead of, like, flying up out of the canyon to fire a missile down or something... but he doesn't so that's why the black pilot dies.

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imagine dancing banana here
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F To Th' P by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Aug 12, 2005 at 06:21:47 AM EST
Inspired and accurate.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
heh by 606 (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Aug 15, 2005 at 08:18:22 AM EST
Did you see the movie?

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imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
Stealth - A Movie Review | 22 comments (22 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback