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StealthStealth on DVD

Stealth is the kind of film that will forever be considered one of the worst movies of the year.

It’s a shame, really, because there are certainly a lot of worse flicks out there, especially in one of the worst cinematic years ever. Stealth simply, and unfortunately, has some of the worst lines ever written into a screenplay (and more unfortunately, most of them are right near the beginning so as to make it much more difficult to really get into it).

Thousands of people applied for the fancy new tactical fighter pilot program. Only three were chosen. Ben (Josh Lucas), Henry (Jamie Foxx) and Kara (Jessica Biel) are the best of the best. They fly technologically advanced Stealth fighter jets with the most state-of-the-art weaponry and high-tech thingamajigs. They’ve flown together for a long time and are the perfect trio, provided nothing comes along and changes any of the factors.

Enter Captain George Cummings, who introduces the group to their new partner. It’s an even more state-of-the-art Stealth fighter with high-tech weaponry and thingamajigs. But that’s not all: this particular fighter has the (dis?)advantage of being completely remotely controlled. It’s essentially perfect.

However, when the group is out on another mission, the new recruit gets hit by lightning and has a few of “his” circuits fried. Subsequently, things go from just fine to really bad.



Rob Cohen has directed several films, most recently and notably being The Fast & the Furious and xXx. Anyone who saw and enjoyed those films has no excuse for not enjoying Stealth. The formula is exactly the same (and the action, arguably, is better), and if the back of the DVD box es didn’t state otherwise, you’d swear all three movies were written by the same guy. Stealth is, plain-and-simple, fun, mindless action.

Yes, there are plot holes, and yes there is little in the way of character development. No, the effects are not terrible, and no, Jamie Foxx is not shattering his now-promising career. The effects are pretty darn cool, and it’s clear Jamie Foxx sees this as an inconsequential blip on his resume (not to mention a quick and easy paycheck). It’s also true that some of the action scenes go a bit overboard, yet nobody complains when James Bond does it (editor's note: Hey, I do!).

The odd thing about Stealth is that even some of the most open-minded moviegoers out there will suddenly shut their minds and hate it before watching it. It’s really unfair, because while people sit and talk about what a great movie White Chicks was, films like Stealth that actually have redeeming qualities will be forever dubbed a failure. Stealth is recommended only for those with a truly open mind.

Why Sony invested the coin in giving Stealth such an impressive DVD is beyond us, though. We figured they’d want to let this one slip under the radar and pretend it never existed. However, presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital & dts soundtracks, this is one of the better DVDs of the year (though not in the same vein as Star Wars or Batman Begins, which have the advantage of being better movies, too). But the picture quality is breathtaking, with excellent color and detail, deep blacks and flawless skin tones.

The audio tracks are positively booming. All five speakers get a great workout, and during the action scenes you could be thrown completely off guard by all the Stealth fighters whizzing through your living room. The dialogue doesn’t fluctuate too much, the sound effects are not overpowering (but they’re dang powerful) and the score is subtly in the background. It must also be noted that we tried out our brand-new subwoofer for the first time watching Stealth, and it made us wonder how we ever used that old piece of crap.

Disc one features a 20-odd minute music featurette. Music features can be interesting, but this one is way too long. The first disc also features the usual mishmash of trailers.

Disc two begins with a 75-minute making-of documentary entitled “Harnessing Speed.” It’s very typical of this kind of piece, incorporating talking head interviews and behind-the-scenes footage in a healthy blend. There is an in-depth scene deconstruction (bo-ring), two multi-angle scene breakdowns, and an Incubus music video.

Stealth, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
121 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.40:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital & dts 5.1
Starring Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Sam Shepard, Joe Morton
Produced by Laura Ziskin, Mike Medavoy, Neal H. Moritz
Written by W.D. Richter, directed by Rob Cohen

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Updated May 5, 2010