Flying high-tech

In the new action thriller Stealth, the United States government seeks to reduce the number of American war casualties by introducing a high-tech unmanned combat plane, nicknamed “EDI”, to an elite group of pilots—a group so elite that lieutenants Ben Cannon (Josh Lucas), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx) are the only three members.

EDI is everything that its human counterparts will never be. It is in no danger of getting physically hurt and doesn’t have any real feelings, there isn’t any chance of it being emotionally affected by the repercussions of war and, to top it all, it can download all the songs on the internet.

Everything EDI does is controlled by its creators; it does as it is told. There is no questioning its ability to carry out missions, and EDI becomes a hit in the world of aviation.

It seems EDI can do no wrong—until a freak lightning incident during a mission causes everything to go haywire. EDI’s technical set-up is affected, and its scientists’ greatest fears come true: EDI starts going against direct orders, a defiance that could lead to global annihilation.

The story is not the greatest, and better films have certainly been made, but what Stealth lacks in dialogue it makes up for with impressive special effects and exotic locations, such as Thailand, Alaska, South Korea and Tajikistan, though much of the plot develops in the air.

It is sometimes hard to follow the storyline amid the twists and turns, but on other hand, the storyline isn’t really that complicated, so one doesn’t miss much.

Stealth also marks the first appearance by Foxx after his Oscar-winning performance in Ray. His role here is definitely not Oscar material, but works in showcasing his versatility as an actor. 

Rob Cohen’s previous money-spinners xXx: The Next level and The Fast and the Furious were heavily dependent on special effects and intricate stunts, and unfortunately Stealth is just as formulaic. Basically, what couldn’t be done in Top Gun all those years ago, in terms of special effects, has been done in this movie—and quite successfully too. 

Although there are some attempts to give the movie a moral spin—for example, the question of whether future wars will be fought with machines instead of people and the danger of war being seen as a sport—that’s about as deep as the movie goes.

Stealth is a pure adrenalin rush from beginning to end: it has the makings of a classic popcorn movie, made purely for enjoyment and not to be taken seriously

Stealth opens at cinemas nationwide on 29 July

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