Spectral (2016)

My Score

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 opinion

“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 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.

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.

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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