Stealth (2005)

(In theaters, August 2005) Damn you Rob Cohen! Just as I was ready to tear this insipid script apart, here you come with those fantastic action sequences, virtual cinematography and the good sense to cast Jessica Biel! How can I resist your film, even if it’s one of the dumbest thing I’ve seen all year? As a big fan of military techno-thriller, I can point at the screen every five seconds and darkly mutter “Mistake!” (That whole survival-and-evasion sequence ought to be shows at SERE courses as tutorials on what pilots should not do.) But why bother when I know that the film will reliably knock my socks off with a boffo action sequence every fifteen minutes? Curse you and praise you for that refuelling sequence, both moronic and exhilarating. Every time I thought about leaving the theatre in disgust, you showed more of Jessica Biel’s curves and I stayed. I hope your career implodes, because otherwise every other director will learn how to shore up a bad script with cool directing tricks and fast-paced editing. It took a while, but fortunately you relented and delivered a truly awful last ten minutes, minutes during my brain re-surfaced and managed to get some perspective on the film. Did you really go into one of those silly “humans are better than machines” speech, or was I hallucinating that? Did the film argue for the intelligence and decision-making power of humans even as the United States are stuck in Iraq? Did you even try to stuff an MP3-downloading killer A.I. zapped by lightning in the oldest and lamest of all Frankenstein plot rip-offs? Surely I should be tracking down every copy of this film for destruction purposes. And yet I feel the need to buy the DVD to watch it again…

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