Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Stealth

directed by Rob Cohen

Stealth poster  
The AI gone haywire has become a Hollywood cliché. So when three elite fighter pilots are joined by a state-of-the-art stealth plane with its own AI, we expect things to go wrong.

The film begins with a practice run, as the three human pilots demonstrate some hair-raising skills. They work well together. When they are told about the new AI stealth plane Lt Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas) is none too pleased. He's afraid it will make them obsolete.

From the first mission it's clear that the AI, nicknamed Tinman, is going to be trouble. It eavesdrops on private conversations and learns from examples of bad behaviour and insubordination as well as from good. Then it kills the wrong people, and goes AWOL.

Amidst all the drama there's a story of forbidden love between two of the pilots. If they admit to their feelings they won't be able to work together.

Stealth is undoubtedly beautiful to look at, with CGI action blending seamlessly with reality, and plenty of panoramic views. But somewhere towards the end it completely loses the thread. The execution of one of the pilots is ordered, but this is never properly explained, and the brief appearances of Stealth's creator are cryptic at best. This film began with a sense of purpose and suggestions of intrigue, but doesn't quite deliver on its promise. The story mutates from an AI thriller into a love story and rescue drama, and it seems that this is purely in order to engineer a Hollywood-style ending.

Stealth disappoints because it doesn't make sense or follow through on its ideas. It is as though chunks of the script have been taken out. Like its AI antihero, this film may be fast and good-looking, but ultimately it has no soul.

Film Details

Year: 2005

Categories: Films

  Science fiction

Classification: 12

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Rob Cohen