‘Stealth’ flies high, leaves story

Science is usually one step ahead of those ready to use it, and that’s exactly the scenario for jet pilots Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), Kara Wade (Jessica Biel) and Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx), part of an elite division of test pilots called Talons.

The Navy pilots are stationed aboard an aircraft carrier and informed by their commanding officer that EDI, a new fighter jet piloted by an artificial intelligence computer, will become the fourth wing of their formation.

As the top-secret “Stealth” arrives, along with its talking and thinking computer, Gannon is doubtful about the new addition to his precision team. Their first mission proves to be a great success until the return trip, when EDI has a breakdown. On another mission, EDI not only disobeys Ben’s commands, but actually turns against him and poses a nuclear threat.

The race is now on to destroy EDI, but other problems arise as well. Their commander may not be the stand-up guy he seems to be, and Kara Wade ends up bailing out of her jet when it’s hit by artillery, landing in unsafe territory in a foreign country. Can the arrogant Gannon, who has confessed to his teammate Purcell that he cares for Wade, break ranks and muster up the courage to go save her?

The actors went through special training to make their roles authentic, and the results are evident. However, the special effects in the film are really the star of this adventure. There are several unbelievable subplots: The whole thing in Alaska that just doesn’t make sense or work, and the subplot with Wade, which is almost as dim-witted.

The paparazzi and “Stealth” premiere guests got a special treat when arriving at the red carpet area in July on the tarmac of the North Island Naval Base on Coronado, as three F/A-18 Super Hornets did fly-bys. Attending the premiere of their new action-packed drama were Lucas, Foxx and Biel, who didn’t really fly in the jets.

“Oh gosh, no,” Biel said. “You have to go through an intense training course. And anyway, I have a very weak stomach.”

When Jamie Foxx, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray,” was asked whether he would rather fly an F/A-18 Super Hornet or play the piano, he said, “Play the piano, baby. I can fly a plane right there while I’m playing.”

Lucas’s response to a question about authenticating the sexual tension in the movie between himself and Biel was, “Are you kidding? She’s so natural and so pretty, one look in her eyes and it was easy.”

There is some humor in the film.

At one point, Purcell says, “Three is a prime number. The Holy Trinity, three musketeers.” Wade responds, “Three dimensions.” Gannon adds, “Menage a trois. Don’t forget that one.”

Director Rob Cohen (“The Fast and the Furious”) was intent on creating an intense film, and does that, somewhat, in the action scenes.

“Thematically, ‘Stealth’ is about war and technology, and just as importantly, about technology being the child we have created and what can happen if that child surpasses us in ability, " he said.

Hot rides, lots of explosions and pretty faces are good reason to see “Stealth,” if you can suspend disbelief just a tad.

“Stealth” is playing at AMC La Jolla 12, located at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive. For showtimes call (858) 558-2262.