Are moviegoers tired of noisy, bombastic, overblown action movies? Especially those that rip off lots of other films while pretending to have something to say about the direction our technology is taking us? Could be.

Last week, the bioethics thriller The Island became the first of the half-dozen films directed by Michael Bay (Armageddon, Bad Boys) to flop at the box office. And this week, Stealth—a movie directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, XXX), about a military plane that gets hit by lightning, starts thinking for itself, and becomes a bigger threat than the terrorists it's supposed to be killing—crashed and burned at theatres, too.

Critics seem to agree that the film—which shamelessly cribs elements of War Games, Colossus: The Forbin Project, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Short Circuit, with an unexpected side trip into Behind Enemy Lines territory—is more artificial than intelligent.

Russ Breimeier (Christianity Today Movies) writes, "The greatest flaw with Stealth—and there are many—is that it doesn't stay true to its premise … Bad acting and dialogue also keep these characters from becoming engaging or believable … Suffice to say, this is yet another perfect example of a bad Hollywood blockbuster, incapable of offering a sensible script or a well-staged action sequence. Neither entertaining nor exciting, the dumb and noisy Stealth will hopefully live up to its name by fading quietly from movie theaters."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says the film is so busy it's boring: "Part of Einstein's theory of relativity states that the faster an object moves the more time slows down. Want proof? Go see Stealth (Columbia), a high-speed but vacuous exercise in adrenalin ...

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