There’s almost no ultimateness to Stealth Fighter (1999)
Well, we’ve come to it. Out of thousands upon thousands of ultimate action movies, we’ve found one that is just about unwatchably bad. Stealth Fighter, starring Costas Mandylor and Ice-T, really takes the cake. It’s cheap, it’s boring, and it’s hardly awesome for it. Let’s look at why you should avoid it at all costs.
Costas “Ironman” Mandylor
While you may recognize him as Mark Hoffman in the Saw franchise films, Costas Mandylor has been quite a prolific B-movie actor for decades, and Stealth Fighter is just one forgettable blip on his long filmography. He isn’t necessarily bad in this, but he is absolutely not worth writing home about. In scenes he stars in, you hardly notice him. And at the end, you really don’t care if he lives or dies.
Ice-T Barely Shows Up
For having main billing on most VHS and DVD packaging, Ice-T is not the star of the movie. He’s a solid second lead, perhaps, and the secondary villian in a way. But it’s pretty clear that he completely phones in his performance. It also looks like they maybe shot all of his scenes in one day – if not for a choreographed fight scene at the end that must require at least a few hours of practice. When he does speak, it’s funny, but only because you can tell how tired of everyone on set.
The Legendary Jim Wynorski
If you’re not familiar with director Jim Wynorski, that’s perfectly understandable. Like Mandylor, he has an amazingly unremarkable career as a direct-to-video movie director. Seriously, just look at his Wikipedia, he’s directed probably 5 movies a year for the past 20 years. All rip off parodies or quick turn around dollar grabs. Which actually, is quite commendable by UAMC standards, but it doesn’t make Stealth Fighter any better. It’s so absolutely bland.
The Awful Sets
This should also fall on the director, as every shot is uninteresting and barely concealed to be in a backlot of an office building. We’re supposed to see the insides of fighter jets, submarines, luxury resorts and the Oval Office, but we get none of those things. Instead we get empty blue walls and a cockpit that looks like a dentist office. Not much to latch onto besides some slow scenes and forgettable acting.
At Least it Has Aircrafts
And it does! It even has the titular Stealth Fighter, which the movie’s producers somehow conned their way into having the US air force donate or lend somehow. Maybe that’s where all the film’s budget went, but even when you assume the majority of the flight footage is military B-roll, the few shots where the characters interact with the aircraft seem cool, if only it wasn’t lost on the other awful 98% of the movie.
So, take this review as you’d like. You’ve been warned. It’s awful. It’s not really that fun. Ice-T says some funny stuff. The dialogue is absolutely terrible, so maybe you can enjoy that too. Or you can just watch Top Gun or Surviving the Game instead. Up to you!
What are your thoughts on this awful action classic? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!