Review: Spectral

netflix-spectral-prostokat Part war movie, part sci-fi ghost story, Spectral was an amazing cross genre movie. A lot of action, a lot of mystery, and a whole lot of “what the heck just happened?” in a good way.

Set in a somewhat futuristic society where troops are trying to protect yet another city from displaced insurgents, a loan engineer finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Go back home and forget he saw anything, or stay and help figure out what’s killing soldiers and civilians alike. Ghost like apparitions that could be soldiers in invisible camouflage, or….something else.

The main focus of this movie is the battle between the soldiers, and the apparitions, less about the personal interactions. You won’t find a sappy love story, or heart warming coming to know yourself. This is all about the action. And there is a lot of it.

spectralgrenadesThe “ghosts” are grounded in some pseudo science, giving some explanation as to what they are and where they came from. As is the weaponry the soldiers fight with. But the pseudo science is really glossed over, and you can’t take a look at it too closely or you might see just how unrealistic it is. However, some of the visuals they use to get the science across is pretty amazing. Weapons, armor, and techno gizmos are awesome to look at, and a cos-players dream.

Being as this was an action movie, above all else, I had to appreciate some of the military tactics, while scoffing at others. They do make a convincing formation moving into a building. They do not, however, utilize tactics for entering an unknown location. Information is the key, and they didn’t seem to have much before rushing into a building headlong. Plus one of the scientists is so head strong that she takes some stupid risks to prove her point. Bad tactical risks.

I also found it curious how quickly their engineer was able to whip up a bunch of gadgets. The world is about to end and he has time to make enough weaponry to outfit an entire battalion? Hard to suspend your disbelief on that one, but the ending battle was glorious because of it.

For all the pseudo science, I did find the lore of the ghosts to be interesting. I liked how they presented them, and how they stopped them. The visual effects were beautiful, as well. The ghosts had just enough weak points to made the battle scenes more interesting, but were still a formidable foe. It was only the Achilles heel that managed to take them out in the end.

Still, for a military sci-fi movie, it isn’t so overbearingly military that I lost interest, and the paranormal has enough of an interesting angle that it might keep more action junkies happy to the end.

Maya has the best writing prompts.

A quick update, i just sent the final Witch’s Trilogy book to the editor. It will, hopefully, be published in a few weeks!

Now on to the main event, the Bradbury Challenge.

Last week Maya gave a great writing prompt. I can’t remember exactly what it was, and it is only on the audio podcast so I couldn’t look it up yet, BUT it did revolve around a stone wall.

Her prompt about the stone wall got me thinking of The Wailing Wall in Isreal where men and women put little notes and prayers on paper into the chinks in the stone masonry. Then I wondered…what if it wasn’t a prayer they were putting there, but a medal. A military metal, one earned in a great battle where nothing is left but the wall.

This story is a bit more experimental then I usually write, but I like the consept. I might redo it later to make it better though.

And now… The Wall.

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The Wall

 

The rough stone bit into my fingers as I ran them down the wall. Chips where bullets peeled out sections. Names carved into the loose concrete. Larger holes left behind by pocket knives, broken bottle shards, or daggers. Each line, wrinkle and pit told a story in the wall.

I found a name, Judith Gavin, etched in a flourished handwriting only slightly jagged from the use of a knife on stone instead of a pen on paper. Beneath it a medal had been embedded into the stone. Rank first class gunnery. A tiny brass star gilded the center. Elite marksman. Judith had been the best of the best in her devision, and she left her medal here as a reminder.

Other medals for foreign service, combat action, organizational excellence, and commendations littered the wall, their enamel paint glittering in the low sunlight. Here a purple heart fit inside a deep well carved by a bullet. Another a badge for a medic with a long cut through the center, possibly done by a knife. Little flecks of red marred the caduceus. Blood?

Each medal, each badge, each trophy a memento that told a story. But what story?

 

 

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