Directed by:Rob Cohen
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, Sam Shepard, Joe Morton.
I knew that I shouldn't have watched this. I always had no interest in seeing it, because I knew what I would have endured...but when it was on when I turned the TV on and there was literally nothing else on, I watched...I asked for it.
The story follows a squadron of elite pilots in the Navy who seem to have it all, they are great friends, have great lives and work well together. The Navy soon develops a fourth wingman for the squadron...an artificial intelligence. Believed to be the future of modern warfare, it is smart and also learns from it's co-pilots in combat maneuvers so that it works as a team...but when it develops a mind of its own (WOW...really? I never saw that coming), they must stop it before it gets out of hand and starts destroying at will.
Rob Cohen, another recent 'go to guy' in Hollywood for action, he did a rather decent job with 'The Fast and the Furious' and 'XXX' in the way of keeping the action high and create reasonably compelling viewing...but what is he doing here? Not only does he cut and paste a lot of ideas and shots from his previous films, he also over stylizes with the spectacular CGI and everything is way to hyper and quickly cut that we can never enjoy any of it, it's all out of control for any balance...and it really lacks the intensity and compelling factor you would hope for and he resorts to explosions, just for the sake of it.
The screenplay, along with the story is so terribly tripe, predictable, muddled and ultimately, a waste. It follows the same old formula...we see the characters doing there thing (the brief outline), they meet there 'new wingman' (the situation), he turns bad (the problem) and they fix it in the most obvious way (the solution)...sure this maybe a typical structure, but it is one that works...but how you make it work makes all the difference, it doesn't here and also, everything has to be so terribly flawed and defy gravity in every way possible (we are meant to believe half of what they are able to do is real?). As you would expect, the screenwriter follows his dummies rule list and tries to add some development of the character...you know, to let us know who we are watching and try and add either an emotion core between them or a level of likeness...neither is given, instead we are shown, in a short amount of time (including the obvious points during the film where the action dies down), small sequences of what they are like...all while reading bullshit on the technical details of there work...you know, just to remind us that they are actually pilots...and not to mention the fact that they are boring as hell, supplied with very unrealistic dialogue (Who the hell says 'Pardon my C cup' to a guy who accidentally walks into her bra hanging on the line?).
The acting is as you would expect, especially with the characters they each have to work with. Jessica Biel is beautiful, no denying that (Oh yeah and to remind us of that, they put in bikini shot), but she seems to be picking roles (or maybe doing them to finish a 5-picture deal or something) that copies her image from previous films, that she is more of a boyish bad ass. She has always shown potential, yet she follows a similar formula for her characters tone and it isn't anything special at all. Jamie Foxx only works his style right with the right role and he sure can be an Academy Award winning actor...but with nothing to work with, he throws in his silly, shallow modern-aged attitude and humor and it just shows stupidity to the role. Josh Lucas...simple, he has no charisma or qualities to be in a leading role.
The moral of the story...don't trust machines...what I don't trust is that they have to make this as the big plot point of the film and never take it in any refreshing or original direction. I don't know what Hollywood tries to achieve with films, when they are always 60/40 with what they release (take a guess what takes the 60), but this continues a new low. Boring, predictable tripe that lacks intensity and is way too over stylized to be entertaining...and the fact that they have to insult my intelligence at the same time is the wrong way to go.