And The Trashing of "Stealth" Continues
Where was I? Ah yes- tired of slagging the flick. But there's so much more to slag! Let's get right to it.
Let me say this first though: Jessica Biel is a very pretty woman. Beautiful teeth. I like great teeth (I'm still waiting for that call from Elizabeth Hurley). Yet Ms. Biel is remarkably uninterestingly pretty. And I just can't buy her as an action heroine. Which is probably my failing so I'll let that one go. I will use her a starting point for today's bashing though.
After a successful mission to Rangoon, the team is given an R&R break in Thailand. There is a completely uneeded scene where Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel go swiming at a rural waterfall. What's the point? We already know that they're really in love with each other - we saw that in the fact that while Lucas had a bimbo in the sushi bar/club scenes, Jessica didn't have a date but she insulted his. So then is it to allow us to see them in swim suits? Yawn. Softest core pr0n in major motion picture is boring. And Jamie Foxx is similarly wasted. His horndoggery scares up a Thai woman who is ... I was about to be unkind. Let me say instead that she's no great beauty.
On the plus side, the Thai countryside in which they film really is gorgeous. too bad this isn't a travel movie. I am actually willing to accept a lot of nonsense in pursuit of a good movie ("Jurassic Park" is the prime example) but this flick has the three pilots talking about the most sensitive tech and what must be a highly classified mission with the Thai bim sitting at their table and in public where anyone could be listening. Can we say "loss of clearance?" Sure. I knew we could. But the film makers can't.
Thailand was just an interlude. The next bit of business is a mission into Tadjikistan where a "warlord" has gotten his hands on "SCUD carcasses" and nuclear warheads. Umm. And you're sending in fighter planes to blow up nukes? If anyone ever did this in the real world, they would have to be clinically insane. First, a nuclear device is triggered by being blown up. Blown up in a very specific way but if you're using missiles on a nuke, how can you be sure you're not going to set it off? And even if you don't, the release of radioactivity from the precritical mass is a dead certainty. And I mean dead. Might I suggest that you send in the fighters to blow up the headless missiles that might deliver the warheads? Then you send in a team to grab the nukes and get them in to friendly hands.
But no. They send Roboplane and the Three Pilot Stooges. At this point, it must be noted that Roboplane has been struck by lightning and is now the functional equivalent of a sentient being. Wasn't this already a cliché? I was waiting for the plane to say, "Number Five is alive!" And, in Hollywood logic, the sentient Roboplane is farking nuts. Roboplane goes off on his own and blows up the nukes which Larry, Curly and Moette would not. Naturally, a valley full of "innocent farmers" is then blown over with a dust cloud full of toxic radioactive particles. This decision is from an AI that on the previous mission came up with the mechanism wherby collateral damage was eliminated. Not just minimized: eliminated. Oh fer bullsnort.
OK, so now the Stooges have to take out Roboplane. Say bye-bye to Jamie Foxx after just one hour of the flick. And the slo-mo crash of his Talon into a mountain is agonizingly bad movie making. Never in the entire movie did the miniature look more like a minature. Just show us the plane bashing itself to pieces in real time. And, of course, a fragment of flying debris cripples Moette's plane so she has to bug out as fast as possible.
Which brings up another one of those movie maker stupidities that just needn't be. Moette says that "starboard canard" is "frozen." The plane does have a canard wing (the small wing located ahead of the main wing) but never in the movie is the canard shown as changing its position. I believe canard wings are always fixed anyway. Their usual effect on aircraft is to change the flight characteristics so that stalling is made vastly more difficult. The trouble is in the swing wing of the palne. Again: wing, not canard. Does "canard" just sound cooler than "wing" so the scriptmangler uses the wrong word? (sigh.)
Anyway, Moette's plane done blows itself up over North Korea and she punches out. I have one question also about the eject sequence. Don't modern fighters have Rogallo wing chutes which allow for control of the descent? Not the Talon. It has the old, traditional balloon chute which means Moette will have to land in hostile territory. Well, that adds to the drama.
Curly doesn't kill Roboplane (this is after the refueling episode in the previous post) but saves it after Roboplane saves him in a dogfight with ... it doesn't matter who the dogfight was with. What matters is they bond again. Roboplane saves Curly, takes some damage and is saved in turn when Curly bombs a lake throwing up a gout of water which quenches the fire on Roboplane. Do I need to say I have a problem with this as well? Remember the thing about the jetwash? All Curly has to do is put his Talon right down to the surface of the water and a spume of water will be kicked up sufficient to put out the fire. Stupid screenwriter.
Don't despair gentle reader, we are nearly done. Just a few final details.
When all the fecal matter begins hitting the air movement device, the Sam Sheppard character is hung out to dry by his shadowy compatriot in Washington (big surprise there, right?). The aircraft carrier captain comes to arrest him and he's sitting in the Roboplane control room inside the carrier wearing sunglasses. What?! What possible reason would anyone have for wearing sunglasses inside an aircraft carrier? I still can't figure that one out.
Meanwhile, back in the North Korean DMZ, Moette has managed to get nearly to the border and Curly has taken Roboplane in to rescue her. That's so sweet. Awww! But there is the North Korean sniper who earlier put a slug into Moette's shoulder. He acquires Curly as a target as Curly runs from Roboplane. Then he hears Moette and swings his sight off Curly. Umm. Could anyone point to an instance where a sniper who had already acquired a target turned off it for someone else who is unlikely to be of threat to him? ... Waiting ... Thought not.
In any event, Roboplane saves the day when a North Korean helicopter arrives on the scene. No, not by just shooting the damn thing down, by firing its guns, then rising to face the chopper and flying into it. Damn dumb Roboplane. If you have ammunition, you lift off, turn and then shoot the bad guy. But that wouldn't be Hollywood, would it?
Whew. I'm done. And, despite my massive bitch-fest here, I really hate doing this. I want to see good movies. I wanted to like this one and it turned out to be impossible. Yet making this into a good movie would have, I think, cost no more money. It just would have taken more thought.