Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Stealth" relies on CGI

On Wednesday night I went to the pre-release screening of the new action flick, Stealth. Directed by Rob Cohen, the film is full of explosions, super-fast aircrafts and action. Because I had gone to the digital film making lecture earlier that day, I was impressed with the visual effects that were used in the amazing action scenes that involved high-tech planes flying through the sky and blowing up whatever could be thrown into the plot (very big explosions). CGI created almost a virtual reality experience and in many scenes I felt like I was playing a huge flight simulation game. One memorable scene was where Wade (the film’s eye candy played by Jessica Biel) was ejected from her aircraft and as she plummeted 20,000 feet towards the ground, she was hit by debris from her exploding plane and her parachute blazed on fire. Another one was where a bomb was dropped on a secret terrorist meeting and the whole explosion kind of resembles the 9/11 twin towers attack. If you see it you’ll know what I mean.
The film attempts to question technological advancements as three navy fighter pilots find themselves alongside a new wingman- an unmanned aircraft controlled by Artificial Intelligence. Unimpressed with the human replacement, the hero says “I don’t want to see warfare become a video game.” But Stealth is hardly as philosophical as it attempts to be.
If you haven’t seen this film yet, I do not recommend seeing it. With Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx and Biel starring, I was expecting a great movie. However it was an overall disappointment with a predictable story line and a stereotypical cast that consists of the “hero/rebel” (Lucas), the “tough-but-hot chick” (Biel) and the “sidekick” (Foxx), also recognised as the “token black guy” or the “smooth, ladies man”. I don’t think even think Cohen knew what he was trying to say with Stealth except he needed fast planes, bombs and a meaningless scene of Biel in a bikini which resembled a tropical fashion shoot.
The amazing visual effects created by CGI make up for the lame narrative. Although Cohen made use of advance digital technologies while making this film, I felt like the “air headed” storyline and romantic subplot had gone back in time about 20 years. Digital film making was used to assist this film, but the plot was so lousy it RELIED on its visual effects to make it watchable.


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