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Published On: Wed, Mar 20th, 2019

‘Captive State’ is a tedious journey through the aftermath of an alien invasion to get to a twist

Director Rupert Wyatt really hit his stride with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and, on the surface, seems like a great choice for a film centering on the apocalyptic world following an alien invasion and the ongoing resistance. Sadly, this project, titled Captive State, fails as a thriller, offers only brief moments with the aliens and a faux sense of suspense that never really connects.

The film begins with the chaos following the invasion and first contact, then there is a surrender and a nine-year time jump. In the city of Chicago, now called a “closed zone,” Gabriel (Ashton Sanders) works in a data-collection facility, where the content of memory cards and hard drives is uploaded to an alien server and secretly works to carry on the ambitions of the resistance movement, led by his brother for many years. Gabriel can’t escape the watchful eyes of William Mulligan (John Goodman), a local detective, who was once the partner of Gabriel’s late cop father and now is in the service of the aliens.

Captive State follows a detailed and mundane plot with a ton of various characters to attack the aliens in a manner that would spark a major uprising. This scheme and the fallout consume most of the screen time, but never provide any real depth or sense of urgency. The sci-fi elements are fleeting and juvenile compared to other films.

Vera Farmiga plays a prostitute with a warm and secretive side that is unmasked later in the film. Her role is insignificant for her talent and proves that the film is a mess in many, many ways.

The action builds to climactic twist and moment at the end of the film. No matter how great Goodman is, and he’s only slightly above average compared to his great roles in 10 Cloverfield Lane or Barton Fink. Every character is forgettable. The moments of failure could have been rescheduled because the “deadline” is arbitrary and, frankly, kind of dumb.

I can recommend the film in really any way. If you are a fan of alien invader films, this one rests in that lower tier with the likes of Battle Los Angeles and Skyline. There was supposed to a message on trading freedom for security, but it’s also quickly lost.

Captive State gets 2 stars out of 5 stars

I’m probably being too lenient. The film is very incoherent and unnecessarily complicated. Anytime Captive State does something right, it is quickly abandoned to continue to race to that “big twist ending.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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