Movie Review: "Stealth"
Just got back from seeing "Stealth", the new movie about the "Naval Air Force of the near future" (EW review here). First, the good: Lots of kewl computer-generated action sequences with loud explosions; Jessica Biel is sufficiently hot; and Jamie Foxx has some good lines. As long as you can suspend disbelief about the plot holes, continuity problems, and stereotypical military characters, it's worth watching when it gets to HBO, if you're not otherwise busy on a Monday night.
Now, the problems, particularly from a "military" point of view (a lot of these problems were similarly shared with "Top Gun", to which this movie could be most closely compared; the main difference is that I actually developed some empathy for Goose, Maverick, and the gang in Top Gun; I felt no such connections with these characters):
1) Once again, we see Navy officers going out on liberty in Service Dress Whites. While Jessica Biel's uniform isn't actually in use now (it's basically the Woman's SDW jacket without the underlying shirt) this is supposed to take place in the future, so I can't fault them. Plus, she looked better. In the similar scene in "Top Gun", at least they were at the Officer's Club on base. Here, they were just out in a civilian place in town. The only time that Navy Officers above the rank of Ensign actually wear their uniforms when they don't have to is when they are part of the cast of "JAG" (which I guess isn't real, either).
2) Movie producers don't seem to grasp that there are officer ranks between Lieutenant and Captain. The three main characters here are all Lieutenants, which is much too junior for people to reach the level of responsibility these characters did. On the other hand, they did better than "Top Gun", in which Goose was a LTjg and attended Fighter Weapons School; aviators don't normally even reach their first squadron until they're almost LTs.
3) The action is supposed to take place onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), but in one of the stock footage scenes of the ship, you can clearly see that the hull number is 68 (USS Nimitz). Since you're digitally altering everything else, why not at least fix the hull number?
4) As noted above, the setting was the "Naval Air Force" in the near future. Naval Air Force?!? "When I grow up, I'm going to join the Naval Air Force, so I can learn to force air into my belly-button."
5) The bad guy was a standard O-6 Program Director type; actually, that's not really a problem with the movie -- most of those types I knew were fairly evil.
Overall, my rating for this movie is taken from the old Jamie Foxx show "In Living Color": "I give this movie... the finger". My sons, on the other hand, were able to successfully suspend disbelief, and gave it a 4... out of 5.