December 12, 2016

Netflix Review: Spectral (2016)

"Big, stupid fun."
Alright, maybe "stupid" isn't the right word. Mindless may be better. Mindless like most fun popcorn flicks are, you know?

Shot in 2014, set for release this past August (until Universal got cold feet, for some reason), and then picked up by Netflix to stream on their site under the "Netflix Original" banner, even though it was not produced or created by Netflix, Spectral is finally available for the world to see... as long as you subscribe to Netflix, of course.

Oh, and it's a really fun flick.
In Moldova, a Delta Force Commando is killed by a wisp of smoke that is only visible via special ghost glasses. The creator of those glasses, Dr. Clyne, is sent to Moldova because somehow being the guy who made the ghost glasses is going to help a group of Delta Force badasses win the war, or put down the insurgency, or whatever the hell it is that they're doing there to begin with.

You see, these humanoid wisps of smoke have been killing soldiers on contact, and the sexy CIA operative who wants answers, Madison, thinks that it's some sort of active camouflage, which makes no sense, because who the fuck in a country like Moldova could ever afford something that crazy advanced? Certainly not the Moldovans.

Turns out that someone gave the Moldovans billions to figure out a way to 3D scan people into virtually unbeatable condensate copies of their human hosts, which can't be shot, blown up, and which only need touch someone for like one second to drop them dead. Lucky for the Delta Force lads that Science + America = fuck you, Moldova!

American ass-kicking ensues!

For some reason, Spectral reminded me of about a dozen other movies where the story isn't very deep, and the science involved seems conveniently logical (who knows if any of it is plausible), but was slick, visually impressive, and all kinds of stupid fun. Although Spectral isn't a movie I'd call stupid like Battle: Los Angeles, Independence Day, or Battleship.

It just feels like it was cast in that same "Big, Dumb, Summer Movie" kind of mold, is all.

Short on substance it may be, but Spectral is long on visual awesomeness. The ghosts are cool, the guns are cool, the Delta Force guys are badass, and the movie is filled with a few kick-ass scenes that definitely belong in a Jerry Bruckheimer flick.

Imperfect as it is, it's every bit as good as most of them too. 

I love James Badge Dale (The Pacific and Rubicon are must see TV series'), and he makes this movie better by his presence alone. Add Max Martini (Dirt Diver from The Unit, which was also great TV), the sexy-as-hell Emily Mortimer playing a sassy CIA chick, and guys like Clayne Crawford and Bruce Greenwood to the mix, and you have a solid cast dong solid work here.

Most of the deaths in this one involve little to no blood.

Nope. This movie does not involve any sexy-time whatsoever.

Spectral is a fun, slick movie that will entertain the hell out of you for two hours, even if its story is a bit shallow, and it focuses more on style than substance. In that way, it's like a Summer Blockbuster, only with better actors. It could have easily been a theatrical release.

If you've got Netflix, add this one to your queue.


Spectral is streaming on Netflix now.

Emily Mortimer is an underrated Hottie.


  1. Watching the trailer, it looks exactly like "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", only with real actors.

  2. The only real problem I have with this movie, is that it's almost as if they had 2 screenplays, or 2 stories, and they then later found a way to put them together. Obviously there was no way they could make all that gear in a matter of hours. even over a few days for the second part of the movie. They should have either made the first story, and have the ending scaled WAY down, so that they were able to defeat them with more conventional tactics, OR better yet, they should have stuck with the second half and made the movie set in the universe that already has these spectral beings in it, but maybe not know what they are till the end, but maybe that they have been fighting them for years and years with a post apocalyptic type world. That would have been more bad ass.

  3. This film fits the mold of what i like. No one was a fucking idiot. Even if the made up sci fi bits are silly, I like a cast of competent characters. Everyone just did their damn job, and they beat the enemy. No scenery chewing. No stereo jarhead resisting logic beyond retardation. They brought in their civilian specialist and listened to him.

    Yeah, the camouflage theory was out there, but Ms CIA admits that. "Ghosts" isn't something you put in an official report. Dang, she is adorable, though. But it's stupid when a film tries to force romance into violent, traumatic events, so I'm glad they didn't.

    I'd go up to A-. It accomplished what it set out to do, and looked good doing it.

    No more shallow than any action films. Less so than many, even.

  4. I love this movie! Especially the ending....only thing i didnt like was that how they made they weapons to defeate them in hours...i loved the ending and how they found out how it was a weapon and they were all real humans and keeping there nervous systems alive. This could be a real thing id imagine in the future. Very interesting. Can't want for the sequel!!!

  5. I love this movie especially at the end when they found out they're keeping their nervous systems alive they're all real humans I can't wait for the sequel the only part I didn't like is how they made all those weapons in a matter of hours

  6. I love this movie especially at the end when they found out they're keeping their nervous systems alive they're all real humans I can't wait for the sequel the only part I didn't like is how they made all those weapons in a matter of hours