Man Over Machine
Release Date: July 29, 2005
Genre: War Drama/Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 121 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Executive Producer: E. Bennett Walsh and Arnold W. Messer
Writer: W. D. Richter
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Sony Pictures Classics)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The team is assigned to an aircraft carrier. On the carrier, their commanding officer, Captain George Cummings introduces them to their new wingman, which is an unmanned jet using an advanced computer with artificial intelligence, nicknamed EDI.
Ben is hesitant about "taking the human pilot out of the equation of war," but Cummings orders the team to execute their first real mission alongside EDI. With EDI's help, the mission is a great success, but on the way back, EDI is struck by lightning. The drone's computerized brain changes in unpredictable ways. On their next mission against a nuclear-armed Muslim warlord in a former Russian province, EDI goes against orders and executes the mission, causing nuclear fallout. The danger escalates when EDI decides to execute a top-secret war games scenario in Russia. Only Ben and his team can stop it.
In portraying the next level of air technology, STEALTH is energized with the latest movie technology. The flying sequences are very cool, especially a sequence involving a pilot ejecting from a jet and an explosion involving a flying refueling tanker. According to the movie's production notes, the filmmakers used a 100-ton gimbal to realistically simulate the twists, turns and rolls that a real jet makes. Adding to these effects are some unexpected twists in the movie's second half, which may remind experienced viewers of the exciting final scenes in 1954's THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI, one of the best American movies made about the Korean War.
STEALTH is not as good as that movie, however. Until the second half gets going, the characters lack depth, and it's hard to get emotionally involved with the cliché story about another computer brain going awry.
The second half of the movie, however, has some interesting twists on loyalty, honor, service, teamwork, sacrifice, and human nature, concepts that are very important to the men and women who serve in our military forces. The movie extols positive human virtues, such as moral judgment, over cold-blooded technology. It also contains some positive references to God and the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity and includes elements where Communist soldiers and terrorists are unprincipled villains, but most American soldiers are shown as tough but compassionate. All of this gives STEALTH a strong moral worldview with strong patriotic elements.
STEALTH contains plenty of foul language, however, including one or two strong profanities and one "f" word. There is also a romantic angle between Ben and Kara and between Henry and an Asian woman when the pilots go on furlough in Thailand. The movie also contains some sly comments and references to Henry and Ben taking women to bed, but there are no bedroom or sex scenes. The pilots also visit a nightclub where there's dancing and have drinks at a couple restaurants. Finally, Kara shows up in a skimpy bikini in one scene.
Despite some terrific special effects, STEALTH lacks depth in the beginning. The movie's second half takes some unexpected twists, however, leading to an interesting take on loyalty, honor, service, teamwork, sacrifice, moral judgment, and human nature. The movie has a strong moral worldview with strong patriotic elements, including positive references to God and the Holy Trinity. These positive elements are regrettably marred by some light sexual references and plenty of foul language, including one "f" word.