Bullet Points: Stealth Fighter
Every once in awhile I will come across a movie that for some reason or another flew right under my radar. It could be because there wasn’t much ballyhoo when it came out or simple as I wasn’t paying attention. However, I completely understand how I missed the 1999 film Stealth Fighter. Maybe if the movie was named Conspicuous Fighter it wouldn’t have taken me over a decade and half to find it. Stealth is important when you are trying to sneak up on the enemy, but the movie watching public is anything but the enemy of a movie. I am glad I was finally able to land this film because it is filled with many familiar and successful action faces and now I am able to pilot you on a journey to the Stealth Fighter Bullet Points.
- Maybe if the movie was named Stolen Fighter… Stealth Fighter unsurprisingly tells the story of a stolen stealth fighter. Former Naval pilot Owen Turner (Ice-T, Breakin) has faked his death and stolen a F-117 Stealth Fighter for the Nicaraguan terrorist Roberto Menendez (Andrew Divoff, yes the same Andrew Divoff who was the hero in Interceptor another F-117 film.) Menendez pays Turner to fly the stealth fighter in conjunction with Menendez using a long defunct satellite that was part of the Reagan Star Wars plan. This satellite, Thanatos, can shut down all electronics and Menendez is threatening to crash planes in order to get his terrorist brethren released from prison. Stolen not only refers to the plane that was taken illegally, but also the footage from other movies that was used to piece together Stealth Fighter. I am not saying the footage was stolen, just that is was used in other movies. Most notably, the Thanatos footage was from the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever, the opening bombing and attack scenes are from Flight of the Intruder, the compound explosion from Clear and Present Danger and some recreational flying is actually young Doug Masters flying the snake in Iron Eagle. I don’t want to leave out the stock footage from The Dogs of War, Bat*21, The Hunt for Red October, Navy Seals, Interceptor, Blown Away, Crimson Tide, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory and Executive Decision.
- Maybe if the move was named Mistake Fighter… Owen Turner’s big rival when he was in the Navy was Ryan ‘Ironman’ Mitchell (Costas Mandylor, Fist of the Northstar) and the two were flying a mission in Nicaragua in 1986 when Turner faked his death. Mitchell ends up successfully completing the mission despite the losses and gains the respect of Adm. Frank Peterson (William Sadler, Die Hard 2.) Mitchell success helps him rise through the ranks to become a colonel in the U.S. Navy?!?!?!? Peterson nominates Mitchell to go with some Army Special Forces to destroy the Thanatos computer and take back or destroy the stealth. Most of the military aspects of this movie need to be ignored. From Owen Turner having the same exact goatee and ponytail as a naval aviator in 1986 to his current day mercenary look, to a “colonel” in the navy flying a U.S. Air Force F-117, Stealth Fighter did not spend too much time making sure it was accurate. I do give Ice-T credit for having too much respect to shave his goatee. Dance with the look that brought you.
- Maybe if the move was named All-Star Fighter… The look and accuracy of Stealth Fighter are not top notch. The story is nothing original and not something you haven’t seen before. The action, while entertaining, is full of every cliche imaginable. Why, you ask, are you reading a Bullet Points and not a What Not to Watch? Because Stealth Fighter is filled with some unbelievable action film superstars who are clearly giving it their all. For me, I like to look at a movie from an actor’s point of view. The acting and action have to meld together to make an enjoyable film. I have already mentioned Ice-T, Costas Mandylor, Andrew Divoff and William Sadler. How about Menendez’ personal bodyguard Berg played by Tiny Lister (American Justice)? Mitchell’s estranged wife Erin is none other than Erika Eleniak (Lady Jayne Killer.) And the how could I leave out Ernie Hudson (Penitentiary II) as the President of the United States of America. There are several other familiar faces (like Peter Spelleos from Demolition High) in smaller roles and what they all have in common is the believable performances. With phoned in acting Stealth Fighter would have gone over like the Spruce Goose.
There are worse ways to spend 88 minutes than watching Stealth Fighter (Yeah, like watching 88 Minutes, take that Pacino!) It is never going to win any awards for accuracy (and I didn’t even mention how sad it was that they were trying to pretend that some file room of an office building was supposed to be the White House.) There is something about movies with actors who have the skill to make you believe what they are doing. I suppose that skill is called acting and they are just doing their job, but I can’t get enough of it. If you can’t get enough of Stealth Fighter, hop on board for some Bonus Bullet Points.
- Name Game – Stealth Fighter was directed by notorious pseudonym user Jim Wynorski, this time as Jay Andrews. Wynorski is a veteran director of numerous movies in every genre. If you look at some of the movies he has directed I don’t blame him for using an alternate name.
- Best Quote – Owen Turner disparages Berg by telling Menendez that Berg “couldn’t find his ass with two hands and a flashlight.” Berg must be pretty dumb. I can do it with no hands and no flashlight. I just sit down and whoomp there it is.
- Best Groan Inducing Quote aka Worst Quote – “Everyone wants to be like Mike.” While this would be pretty hackneyed if Mitchell was dunking a basketball, he actually said it after biting the ear of Berg and then shooting him in the stomach. I guess Ironman is trying to be like Iron Mike Tyson. Oh, now I get it.
- If You Ever… wanted to see a movie open with an arm wrestling match between Ice-T and Costas Mandylor Stealth Fighter is for you.