Spectral (2016)



Summary

Civil Unrest in the European country of Moldova has US forces engaging the insurgents however there is a new threat who has decided both are their enemy. This new threat resides in an alternative spectrum that makes them invisible to the naked eye and instant death to anyone confronting them. Locals believe they are Spirits of War but others believe they are superior arms technology fabricated by the Moldova government.

Genre

SF

Country

USA

Cast

James Badge Dale : Clyne

Emily Mortimer : Fran madison

Bruce Greenwood : General Orland

Director

Nic Mathieu


My Score

“Our business requires us to make suppositions.
My business requires us to prove them.
Your technician’s job is to find glitches, so, he sees glitches.
Your job is to find the enemy, so, you see the enemy.
Locals believe in spirits, so they see spirits.
Everyone is biased, in one way or another.
So, my answer to you right now is that we lack data to support any theory.”

I hope Netflix still has a few more similar films up their sleeve, because this was surely excellent work. Not only did it look great. It was also thrilling and action-packed. Unfortunately, the creators of this action-SF are huge admirers of “Aliens” I guess and based their concept a little bit too much on this blockbuster. Again, a group of hard-trained soldiers try to make their way through a war-ravaged metropolis while being harassed by non-human enemies whose touch is sufficient enough to make you fall stone dead on the spot. Even their sophisticated equipment is no match for these supernatural entities. The equivalent of Newt (the charming little girl with that tousled hair) is introduced as well. And of course, this group of soldiers serve one central person, Clyne (James Badge Dale), who has the key to the solution.

 

The denouement was a bit over the top.

The only thing that bothered me somewhat, was the denouement and the final explanation of the particular phenomena. I’m not doubting the intelligence of Dr. Clyne, but the sudden insights he gains here and the naturalness with which he brings forward solutions, is adjacent to the unbelievable. And how he could upgrade the weapons into ultimate defense weapons by using material that was lying around, made him look like a real MacGyver. The scene in the power plant of Masarov wouldn’t be out of place in some kind of PS4 game. Only, the final scientific explanation was beyond my hat.

 

Spectacular effects and overall design.

Apparently, Universal Pictures has produced this film and pushed aside the film because they didn’t believe in a succesfull worldwide release in cinemas (disappointing cost-benefit analysis, most likely). Maybe that explains the rather spectacular effects and overall design. Fortunately, Netflix has taken over this not so bad SF and started broadcasting this on their channels, otherwise this film would have died a quiet death. Ignore the coincidences (like the huge camera Clyne has taken with him, even though he didn’t know what was going on) and some stupidities, and you’ll surely get to see a sound and spectacular-looking SF. I thought the armor and weapons of the advancing troops really looked slick. Not those plastic fake firearms you give your adolescent children as a gift for Christmas. And when the final offensive is deployed, you can expect some decent action scenes.

 

A decent, cyberpunk war story.

So! You have a Netflix subscription and you don’t know what to do on a Sunday afternoon? Feel free to look for this film and enjoy a decent, cyberpunk war story. And if you have knowledge of the Slovenian language, you’ll notice that the Moldovan little girl isn’t speaking Moldavian. She speaks Slovene fluently (If I wasn’t married to a Slovene girl, I wouldn’t have noticed myself). It’s these small imperfections that prevents this film to be among the greatest science-fictions. Mind you, the emphasis is on “small” when talking about these imperfections.

 

My rating 6.5/10
Links :  IMDB

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3 Responses

  1. Clyne could be the Sherlock Holmes of Techno-Thrillers. His character is based around a core narrative concept where an investigator gets thrust into an extraordinary situation and uses their single weapon – that is a keen scientific mind – to both investigate and find a solution to the problem. On the surface, the movie threatens to be yet another reel with great graphics (and oh boy, they were Great) with a predicteable plot, but it offers just enough for it to be worth the watch. The fact that the beginning scene only sought to ground the character rather than end up being a cliche Chekov s Gun, the fact that the resolution wasn t necessarily up to military might and a last boss battle, but a moral solution that is only a band aid in the long scheme of things, really endeared this movie to me. It s an extremely slim hope, and I might be blown away by the amazing military tech and vfx that was paraded around, but I m confident that Clyne could make a great character to build something upon. I really feel that his story isn t over, whether he returns to making the newest technologies for the world, there are plenty of military horrors that could emerge that could require his unique genius and unflinching in the face of danger. I am about 43 minutes into the movie, where they find some children in a factory. And they start speaking a very bad Romanian with Moldavian accent. I had to rewind, I must ve heard wrong. No, I was right. I do not know if it was an editing error or the translator was on crack. Must be both, since one of the translators asks the kids some questions, the children answer, the Sargent asks the translator to ask them what she already asked, and she replies with total opposite what the children already answered. Being that was filmed in Hungary, while the action is supposed to happen in Moldavia (the old Russian Moldova), it is understandable. The cast, I know quite a few of them. Free trip to Europe was the motivation for this ? I wasn t looking for an Oscar nomination performance, but come on! And since when Moldavia has the resources to create super dung? Sri Lanka would ve been more plausible. If it wasn t on Netflix, I d ask for my money back. How much does a translator make a year?

    • admin says:

      As far as I can remember, those kids spoke Slovene. My wife is from Slovenia and she confirmed it. Maybe that’s the confusion 🙂

  1. 22 May 2018

    […] supporter of the Netflix Originals series. I’ve seen already some great movies (“Spectral“, “iBoy“, “Before I Wake” and “Message from the king“). […]

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