Friday, January 6, 2017

Movie review: Spectral

When you cannot see the enemy, who also cannot be stopped by bullets, it is time to try something new. That is exactly what one Army unit does after realizing they are no match for the strange entities determined to kill them.

James Dale (Clyne), Emily Mortimer (Fran), Bruce Greenwood (Gen. Orland), Max Martini (Capt. Sessions), Cory Hardrict (Alessio), Clayne Crawford (Sgt. Toll), Gonzalo Menendez (Capt. Cabrera), Ursula Parker (Sari), Stephen Root (Dr. Mindala).

Spectral begins with a military unit exploring a destroyed city when they are decimated by an unseen entity. Add a bit more background, some character development, then send in another military unit which then makes a bit more sense to the audience. The remainder of the film is military engagement with a strange entity that can't be stopped by bullets and is invisible. Once past the plot holes, after logic has been suspended, the story finally wraps up with an ending more simple than expected.

Acting was pretty good with Dale putting forth a solid, lead role performance. Mortimer was enjoyable while Greenwood was in-type and delivered his usual. Martini, Hardrict and the remainder of the supporting cast did fairly well throughout.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were good. It was obvious there was some good imagination behind this film. Action scenes and CGI were exceptional with good detail and unique presentation. Creature effects were very well done and enjoyable. Dialogue was okay but could have had more warmth and depth. Sound and soundtrack were good.

While Spectral does have some holes, and does require suspension of disbelief, it is a nicely done sci-fi with good depth, technical work, and a solid plot. Fans of the genre should enjoy this one, while those who insist their sci-fi be consistently logical may be slightly dismayed.

With some sci-fi violence and potentially disturbing images, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 12.19.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Military Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi Thriller, Action Sci-Fi, Action Thriller, Action & Adventure

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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