This film had the misfortune of being sandwiched between Captain Marvel and Jordan Peele’s Us. I barely saw any promotion for it. Of course though if you have a passion for watching movies, you will find out about it. The film comes from Rupert Wyatt who started the solid modern day Planet of the Apes trilogy. I thought his follow up, The Gambler, was terrible. I usually am a sucker for alien invasion films. It was hard to decipher that from the film trailer though. Seemed for focused on the lead character than the science fiction and unfortunately this film is just that.
An alien race has invaded Earth for the past nine years and the humans most adhere to their overlords. In the midst of that is a kid named Gabriel Drummond who wants to be part of the resistance to cause a war against the alien overlords. He is being closely watched by a police officer (John Goodman) who wants to keep the peace going between the alien and human race. The film takes place primarily in a rundown Chicago neighborhood. Vera Farmiga and Machine Gun Kelly (yes indeed) also co star.
This film starts off with a really incredible sequence that makes you want to see more of the alien race that has invaded. It very soon devolves into a super incoherent story with such thin characters. Some characters come and go and you wonder who they are. I still don’t think I understood key plot points and character actions. Its such a messily shot film and the writing needed to be more graspable but it isn’t. Why am I even supposed to care about the lead character’s plight?
There’s not enough action or interaction with the overlord. I think the film gets bogged down in a plot that is too complex that at the end when the “twist” is revealed you don’t even know or care about what’s going on. Its a super misfire on all counts. I know this film will just be forgotten in years to come but I always get a little annoyed when a science fiction film chronicling an alien invasion goes wrong. In the case of Captive State you would rather be held in captivity by the aliens than watch and try to understand this.