Spectral, American Movie (2016)

Throughout history there has sadly been one constant factor that has kept mankind occupied: war. No matter what century you would choose to look at, there has always been some kind of war that was being waged at some place on the planet. There is a quote from Albert Einstein that also appears in the movie I am about to review : ” I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. A truly chilling prospect if you ask me. Warfare has also changed a lot over the past decades. These days people can be killed by the push of a button from a million miles away. There has yet to develop a situation that our modern weapons can’t deal with. But what if something like that were to happen? What if you were to fight an enemy that could not be killed by normal weapons…..?

What are you looking at? They are invisible remember? 

Spectral takes place in the not too distant future. When a soldier gets killed by an unseen force on a battlefield in Moldavia, help is requested by the military. That help comes in the form of dr. Clyne, who is the designer of the so called hyperspectral imaging goggles, that allow soldiers to see things on the battlefield that they would normally not be able to. Together with a bunch of Special Ops soldiers, he gets sent into the city , in order to investigate this unknown enemy. It soon becomes clear though that they are not dealing with a conventional force. Weapons are useless against them, they move through walls like they are not even there, are invisible to the naked eye and are able to kill with a single touch. Soon the squad comes under siege, and when people are beginning to die, their only hope might rest with a bunch of children who seem to have found a way to stop them. However with so little people left, their task seems almost impossible…

The annual Call of Duty conventions are getting more realistic each year. 

The first thing that springs to mind when you see this movie are videogames. Some of the scenery for this film, seems to have come straight from the highly succesful Gears of War games. And that’s not all. At times the way the action is shot, and the situations that arise, you really get the feeling that you are watching someone that is playing a videogame. Luckily though, it is a very good videogame. The special effects for this film, as well as the action are definitely the reason to watch this one. The spectral enemies the soldiers are facing, look really cool, as well as all the hightech weapons and gadgets the soldiers are using.

Yep, this gun is big alright.

The group of soldiers are being played by couple of familiar faces, as well as a few unknowns. Max Martini plays the commander of the special forces unit, and one wonders at times if the guy really is from the military, seeing how many soldiers he has played throughout his career. Still, he always plays the role well, and in this movie that is no exception. James Badge Dale who portrays dr. Clyne, also does very little wrong. Most of the other characters though are pretty underdeveloped, and the same can be said for the story. It is all pretty straightforward, with little surprises, although the true nature of the enemy was pretty original.

You are seeing this right? 

That said I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It has plenty of action, some seriously cool setpieces, and if you like military science fiction movies I highly recommend this film. Ofcourse it won’t win the price for most original movie of the year, but if you can look past that, this movie has entertainment written all over it. This being a Netflix Original movie, I can honestly say that they are definitely on a roll with producing some very well made movies.

I give Spectral a 8 out of 10 score.


16 thoughts on “Spectral, American Movie (2016)”

  1. I understand what you mean about the video game aspect because a lot of the timeI also find myself wondering how it looks like a shooter game, the shots and the way they pace their movement, taking cover and waiting to strike their enemies.

    It reminds me of a movie called Hardcore Henry (2015) but shot in an entirely different perspective. It literally used the concept of a first person video game player, to move in the movie so you watch it as if you were playing the story out. It seems original from what the trailer provides, but I haven’t seen the movie to know if it was any good a story.

    This is not a movie I’ll probably get to see but I enjoyed the review as always and the captions made me laugh. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much as always. I have not heard about the movie you mentioned, but I will see if I can track it down and check it out. The captions I honestly struggle with, but Weekend Otaku (a great anime blog I am following), mentioned that if you don’t do captions on pictures, the pictures don’t always show up on computers. I am glad to hear they made you laugh 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m sorry to hear about the captions issue. You could go into the preview button without it and see if it shows up. It should work without them usually but I can relate with some technical issues I find myself too .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Weekend Otaku recently did a post adressing this issue, and mentioned thst if you post pictures in a post without captions, that on certain computers they might not show up. It was a really interesting article…if you want to read it I can share a link for you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s how I lost a lot of my work when things got updated it would look different to word press via mobile compared to using the internet to get into the site. It can be quite frustrating.

        Yes it would be interesting to read it and I’m sure I’ll like the blog. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well I’m glad your wizardry skills are doing you just fine because your blog is wonderful. Thank you, I’ll have a look. I’ve finally come to the end of my 80’s series with a few glitches along the way but I got there in the end .

        Thank you for the link, I’ll take a look. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great review, Michel! I saw Spectral a while back, and totally agree with what you wrote. The visual style was wonderful, and the ending was quite a stunner! Also, I think James Badge Dale is one of the most underrated actors out there. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much😊😊 Yes, this one was quite a surprise. I had expected very little of this movie, but it was really a lot of fun. As for James Badge Dale, could not agree more. I think I saw him the first time in the 3rd season of the tv series 24, and he did a very good job there as well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Saw this movie a month or so ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I completely agree it has a videogame feel to it, but then so does Dredd, and the Raid. (Let’s face, Dredd is a reskin of the Raid, anyway). I also like Max Martini as an actor. Another great blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Dredd, but that is also simply because I like the comic book a lot as well. The raid is fantastic, and the sequel was even better. I hear that a third part for that one is under way.
      As for Spectral, really did not expect to enjoy it this much, but I really had a blast with it 😊 Thanks for the kind words 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Never heard of this before but this sounds like a nice couple of hours of action-packed fun. I’d have eaten this up once upon a time 😀

    Love the captions btw – they’re hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a pretty new movie, that I came across by pure chance. But it was really a pleasant surprise. Glad you like the captions, after Weekend Otaku’s article I have started using them. I find it difficult to sometimes to think up a correct (and funny) captions, so I really appreciate comments like these : thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I only chose to watch this on Netflix because I just wanted to past the time, but I didn’t expect the production value to be so amazing. I was really terrified for the characters. I mean how could you fight something you can’t touch?

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it, give it a try. It’s worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was pretty much the same with me. I was looking for some science fiction to pass the time, but it ended up being pretty awesome. Always nice when movies surprise you in a positive way 😊


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