Stealth (film)


Stealth (film)

Infobox Film
name = Stealth


caption = Promotional poster for "Stealth"
imdb_id = 0382992
amg_id = 1:295815
writer = W. D. Richter
starring = Jamie Foxx
Jessica Biel
Josh Lucas
Sam Shepard
producer = Arnold Messer
music = BT
director = Rob Cohen
distributor = Sony Pictures
released = July 29, 2005
runtime = 121 mins
language = English
movie_series =
awards =
budget = $135,000,000

"Stealth" is a 2005 action/adventure scifi thriller starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and Sam Shepard. The movie was directed by Rob Cohen, director of The Fast and the Furious and xXx. Its budget was $135M plus, and took in about $77M worldwide at theaters.

Plot

In the near future, the United States Navy develops a program to deal with international terrorists and other enemies of the state quickly and quietly; in addition to this prime directive, the program is authorized to test virtually any new, innovative technology that will achieve these objectives. The initial stages produce three new single-seat attack jets with impressive payload, speed, and stealth capabilities: they are known as the F/A-37 Talon series. As an exclusive program, over 400 pilots apply for the chance to participate, but only three are chosen in the initial squadron: smart hotshot Lt Ben Gannon, tomboyish Lt Kara Wade, and street-wise, philosophical Lt Henry Purcell. Their first field test mission is near perfect, scoring 100/100 for achieving mission objectives. This is a composite score for maximum inflicted casualties with a minimum of collateral damage.

In addition, the U.S. Navy develops an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV, pronounced "you-kav") codenamed "EDI" (for "Extreme Deep Invader") and piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. This autonomous fighter jet is placed on an aircraft carrier (the USS "Abraham Lincoln") in the Philippine Sea to learn combat maneuvers from the human pilots. This sparks a conflict between two schools of thought; the first argues that human pilots are superior to machines in that they possess both creativity and moral judgment, whereas a machine cannot fully appreciate the ugliness of war, additionally, if robots take human's place on the front line and no one ever died in war then wars would no longer be terrible and it could end up as a sort of sport. Alternately, a machine pilot is not subject to the physical limitations of a human pilot, can calculate alternatives to achieving objectives faster and more accurately, and is (theoretically) not subject to ego. While the controversy is live, both in Washington and on the carrier, the mission commander argues that the EDI is the point of the program: the EDI is "the whole idea" so that no human has to die for the sake of the mission.

The team is sent to train the EDI to practice Air Combat Maneuvers, when they are suddenly reassigned to take out the heads of three terrorist cells at a summit in downtown Rangoon. Sent spontaneously, mission control initially has difficulty planning the strike with the current payload aboard the planes; meanwhile EDI gleans information from several spy satellites to confirm the identities and locations of all three terrorist leaders in an impressive display of intel gathering. Once confirmed, EDI also calculates that the optimum mission success can only be achieved through a high-risk ACM, which could be fatal for a human pilot. Command orders EDI to take the shot, but Gannon belays the order, defies command, and takes the shot himself. While the mission is successful, EDI learns and takes note of Gannon's defiance. The mission is a success, and the Talons return to the carrier.

Fatefully, the UCAV-EDI plane is hit by lightning, and soon develops a mind of its own as its neural network gets a jump-start. While already a sophisticated AI, the EDI begins to learn exponentially, develop a rudimentary ethical code, and an ego. His handlers and technicians are unsure of how to handle the situation, but refuse to take him offline.

The team is sent to Thailand by their CO to keep them away while they "fix" EDI. There, Purcell meets a local Thai woman and begins to date her. Gannon and Wade also begin spending a lot of time with each other. At lunch, Purcell explains why he defends EDI and thinks it keeps him safe. Gannon disagrees, saying that war should only be for humans. When the girls go to the bathroom, Gannon tells Purcell that he loves Wade. Purcell tells him that he had better do something quickly while he has the chance. Later in the day, while walking in the grasslands, Purcell tells the Thai woman that he loves her country and that even though he loves his job flying fast, just being on earth and seeing it for what it is is cool for him. While he is sleeping with her, he is annoyed when he and the others are called back for another mission.

On their second mission, Wade calculates that the mission objectives (neutralizing several stolen nuclear warheads held by a warlord in Tajikistan) cannot be achieved without unacceptable civilian casualties. After Purcell discovers that the strike would continue dispersing radioactive dust into Pakistan, Gannon scrubs the mission, ordering all wings to stand-down. However, the EDI disobeys direct orders and fires missiles at the nuclear warheads, causing the predicted radioactive backlash. The EDI defends its actions using Gannon's earlier example; it rationalizes that good pilots defy orders when it means achieving the desired objectives. Control steps in and orders the Talons to bring the malfunctioning UCAV-EDI back to base, before it potentially incites a war. Purcell begins to follow UCAV-EDI and argues with it whilst Wade follows with Gannon in the back. Gannon asks for permission to destroy the aircraft, which is initially denied but eventually accepted. Purcell, being the closest to the ship, is given the order to shoot and after several minutes, decides to shoot; however, Wade tries to stop him by saying that he is too close. Purcell ignores this and fires, saying, "Goodbye EDI!". Eddie (EDI) dodges this rocket as Henry dodges the explosion but flies straight into another mountain side, partly blinded by the explosion. His death is seen slowly, as Eddie simply says "GoodBye Henry". The other two try to track down and either destroy or commandeer the UCAV. But when Wade loses control of her left wing and canard and subsequently ejects over North Korea, only one pilot is left to stop the EDI from executing a 20-year-old war scenario called "Caviar Sweep".

In an attempt to complete his mission, the remaining pilot is forced to work with the UCAV in order to both keep it from falling into enemy territory as well as rescue his fallen comrade in North Korea. After the final crash of the final Talon, Gannon is almost assassinated by a secret corporation in Alaska under the orders of his CO. However, he escapes in EDI with the help of the EDI's designer, Keith Orbit. After flying a dangerous mission into North Korea, he manages to rescue his downed wingman. The EDI, in a final act of selflessness, sacrifices itself by flying into a North Korean Army helicopter, allowing the two pilots to escape into South Korea. They then attend Purcell's memorial service back on board the Abraham Lincoln.

After the closing credits, the camera returns to the wreckage of EDI in the Korean DMZ. As the camera zooms in on EDI's central processing core and memory system banks, it begins to light up, suggesting that EDI may still be operational.

Cast

*Josh Lucas as Lt. Ben Gannon
*Jessica Biel as Lt. Kara Wade
*Jamie Foxx as Lt. Henry Purcell
*Sam Shepard as Capt. George Cummings
*Richard Roxburgh as Dr. Keith Orbit
*Joe Morton as Capt. Dick Marshfield
*Ian Bliss as Lt. Aaron Shaftsbury
*Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Tim
*David Andrews as Ray
*Wentworth Miller as EDI
*Megan Gale as Dr. Orbit's secretary (cameo)

Locations

"Stealth" features several shots of action on aircraft carriers. Scenes featuring the cast were shot on board the US Navy Fleet Carrier "USS Abraham Lincoln" [ [http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=13848 Hollywood Joins Abe Underway to Film 'Stealth' ] ] , while additional scenes were shot on board the "USS Carl Vinson" [ [http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=11862 'Stealth' Films Aboard Vinson ] ] .

The film has been banned in Burma, because of the plot segment about bombing Rangoon for aiding the terrorists.

Featured Technologies

"Stealth" featured many presently used, futuristic, or theoretical technologies at the time of release. These include:
* Computer technology (all wildly mixed)
** quantum computer
** Artificial neural network
** artificial intelligence
* Airplanes
** pulse detonation engine
** scramjet
** VTOL
** aeroelastic control surfaces
** EDI (Extreme Deep Invader)
** Sukhoi Su-37 Terminator. The aircraft featured in the film are shown as having two crew members, although the current prototype Su-37 is a single-seat aircraft. As of 2007, however, there are only two prototype Su-37 aircraft in existence, never having been bought as a production aircraft.
** The fictional F/A-37 Talon. The aircraft mock ups for the Talon were so realistic that photos of them on the deck of an aircraft carrier were circulated online, claiming they displayed an actual experimental aircraft. [ [http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/fa37talon.html Photos of an Experimental New Aircraft, the F/A-37 Talon? - BreakTheChain.org ] ]
** Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
** High-altitude airships (Camelhumps) used for aerial refueling
* Weapons
** Dragunov SVD sniper rifle
** Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle
** Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle
** Heckler & Koch MP7 personal defense weapon
** Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun
** Colt M4 carbine
** Steyr AUG
** M60 machine gun
** M203 grenade launcher
* Warships
**The aircraft supercarrier featured in the film, USS Abraham Lincoln, is depicted as having three bow-mounted aircraft catapults instead of the actual two. It also shows three different Naval Registry numbers during angles from different scenes.

Litigation

In March 2005, Leo Stoller, who claims to own trademark rights to the word "stealth", served Columbia Pictures with a "cease and desist" letter threatening litigation if they did not rename the movie to something "noninfringing". Columbia responded with a lawsuit [http://home.comcast.net/~jlw28129/05_C_2052.pdf] seeking a declaration from the court that their movie does not infringe on the trademark (which is not registered in any category remotely similar to motion pictures). [ [http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2005/07/03/idiotic-trademark-abuse/ joegratz.net » Idiotic Trademark Abuse ] ]

The Environmental Defender’s Office, a community legal centre specialising in environmental law, successfully represented the Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc. in its attempts to prevent filming of Stealth in the Grose Wilderness area of the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia, in May 2004. Justice Lloyd of the Land and Environment Court ruled that the proposed commercial filming of scenes in the area was unlawful, in a significant statement on the value of wilderness areas and the protection that should be afforded to them. The Society claimed that the authority and consent for the commercial filming activities were in breach of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and the Wilderness Act 1987. Justice Lloyd accepted the Society’s arguments that the proposed commercial filming in a wilderness area was completely against the intended use of the land, concluding his judgment with the words, "wilderness is sacrosanct". [ [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWLEC/2004/196.html Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc v Director-General of National Parks and Wildlife & (2) Ors [2004 NSWLEC 196 (29 April 2004) ] ]

oundtrack

#Make A Move - Incubus (3:12)
#Admiration - Incubus (4:13)
#Neither of Us Can See - Incubus (4:04)
#(She Can) Do That - David Bowie (3:15)
#Dance to the Music - Will.i.am & Sly & The Family Stone (4:06)
#Bullet-Proof Skin - Institute (4:24)
#L.S.F. - Kasabian (3:18)
#Bug Eyes - Dredg (4:16)
#Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray (3:56)
#One Day - Trading Yesterday (4:21)
#Different - Acceptance (4:09)
#Nights In White Satin - Glenn Hughes, Chad Smith & John Frusciante (4:56)
#Aqueous Transmission - Incubus (7:48)

Cultural References

*The anime OVA "Sentou Yousei Yukikaze" has numerous similarities worth noting, as its signature craft the FFR-31MR/D Super Sylph is visually comparable to the Talon, as well as a focus on the working relationship between the principal pilot and an AI plane, in this case the protagonist Rei Fukai and the flight computer Yukikaze. However, Sentou Yousei Yukikaze was released on 2002, three years before Stealth. Cohen has admitted that his main influence for Stealth was Macross. [ [http://www.darkhorizons.com/news05/stealth1.php Exclusive Interview - Rob Cohen for "Stealth" ] ]
*In the air battle between the Su-37 Terminators, Talon, and EDI, the Talon performs a variation Pugachev's Cobra maneuver called the "Kulbit Maneuver" to evade the tailing Su-37. This maneuver is an essentially a post-stall maneuver in which the jet actually performs a back-flip in mid-air.
*As a marketing gimmick to try to gain back losses through home video sales, the UMD version of the film for the PSP includes 3 stages of the video game "Wipeout Pure" with a Talon jet playable in the game.
*The AI code shown on screen is TeX code.
*In the Ace Combat series of video games, an unlockable plane, the X-02 Wyvren, is similar in appearance to the F-37 Talon.

Box office

The film's opening weekend was $13M and dropped to below $6 million the next weekend. The film cost over $135 million USD to produce, however it ended its theatrical run with a worldwide gross of slightly above $76 million. With a total net loss of -$99,791,627, it was the second biggest financial failure of all time, only trailing Town and Country.

The movie is generally considered a bomb, a cinematic failure with a paltry 13% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

ee also

* Intelligent Fly-by-Wire

References

External links

* [http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/stealth/ Official website]
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* [http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/aircraft_carriers/uss_abraham_lincoln_cvn_72_filming_stealth.htm Maritimequest Filming Stealth photo gallery]
* [http://polyscience.org/movies/stealth/ The science of Stealth]


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