By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Navy pilots Henry Purcell (Foxx), Kara Wade (Biel), and Ben Gannon (Lucas) are part of an elite division of test pilots flying highly classified Stealth engine fighter jets called Talons. A group of close-knit colleagues accustomed to flying the friendly skies together, they resent the introduction of a new wingman – a robotic fighter jet called EDI, which the Navy hopes will eliminate the need for human pilots. Gannon, in particular, distrusts the machine whilst Purcell views the addition of a fourth member as unlucky. "Three is a lucky number. Three Stooges, Three’s a company. Everything is three and it’s prime number," he gripes. Still, they are left with little choice but to comply and accommodate this robotic construction when their commanding officer Captain George Cummings (Shepherd) gives them an order. They reluctantly comply and their first mission to execute terrorists in Rangoon is successful as EDI expertly eliminates their target with minimal damage. However, on their return trip to the base ship, the U.S. Carl Vinson, he is struck by lightning, which causes a severe malfunction within his circuits causing him to act erratically. Despite objections from the group, Cummings declares the jet ready to rejoin the team after a series of tests, but their next mission to eliminate a nuclear-armed warlord in a remote Chinese province turns deadly as EDI disobeys direct orders to abort the mission. Instead he decides to attack a top-secret location, which, if successful, could spiral into a worldwide nuclear war. The next and final mission becomes a race to stop him through any means necessary and bring him back to base – a mission, which proves dangerous for all concerned.
"Stealth" is riddled with technical military jargon, but once you weed through the missile ordinance, combative tactics and methods of intelligence gathering, you’re in for a pretty explosive ride. There is plenty of fancy airborne stunts, tones of action, lots of explosive devices and a little cheeky humor. Foxx, despite his Oscar win has a pretty minimal role as the humorous, chauvinistic, philandering pilot with scours of concubines in many provinces (reminiscent of his role in Booty Call), but understandably he began production on "Stealth" just before his Oscar winning movie was "Ray" released. Still, the three actors compliment each though much of the screen time belongs to Gannon and Biel leaving Foxx as the third wheel.
On the flip side, it offers no surprises and is very predictable. Picture a juxtaposition of movies "I-Robot" meets "Terminator," "Aliens" and "Knight Rider" – a talking, thinking fighter jet with a heart. "Stealth" is what it is –simply another explosive, visually entertaining action flick.