Gabriel wants nothing to do with any protests, though he is still tracked suspiciously by William Mulligan (John Goodman), a police commander who was the former partner of Gabriel's late, police officer father. But does it deliver a film that is as satisfying as it is original? For example, midway through the movie, the film completely changes its focus and leaves Gabriel and Bill behind so it can focus on the insurgents. Captive State’s biggest problem isn’t that it starts in the middle, but that it doesn’t really know how to start at all. If Captive State were a TV show, we’d probably know all the players and care about their motivations, but within the framework of a low-to-mid-budget sci-fi movie, the only aspect that can come to the forefront is the overall conflict and the characters don’t really matter. The movie flirts with issues of surveillance, resistance, and deportation, but these political topics never feel like anything more than window dressing. Here is a thriller about an alien invasion that mostly avoids mass destruction and firefights. Pixar's 'Soul' To Have 2 Soundtrack Albums Featuring Jon Batiste and Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, 'No Time to Die' Director Says Rami Malek's Villain Is Bigger Than Any Bond Villain Before, The 30 Best Comedies on Netflix Right Now (November 2020), The Best Performances Where You Can’t See the Character's Face, Ranked. The thinking behind "Captive State" is admirable. Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders, from Moonlight) lives in the long shadow cast by his older brother, Rafe (Jonathan Majors). The story is set between Earth’s insurgents and those who collaborate with the aliens (called “legislators” by collaborators and “roaches” by the insurgents, although they look like the universe’s angriest porcupines). Rupert Wyatt directed, and Captive State may play best as a weirdly diffuse, unofficial sequel to his own Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Copyright © 2008-2020, GeekTyrant Industries, LLC. A new trailer for the mysterious sci-fi thriller Captive State starring John Goodman and Vera Farmiga has arrived online. COLLIDER participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means COLLIDER gets paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites. We see a guy at home and he gets the secret message, so he gets his dog and leaves. Inevitably, Gabriel is drawn into the protest. This alien invasion film takes a not so typical approach at fighting an alien invader. (Everyone has been implanted with alien devices, so their every movement can be tracked.). I am also the One Minute Critic on Youtube. While the thought of dropping in right in the middle of an alien occupation is interesting, Rupert Wyatt’s movie is too scattered to get us invested in the story. We’re informed that the aliens are now known as “legislators” since they control the law; major cities are now closed zones where humans labor to build underground tunnels for the aliens; collaboration with the aliens has exacerbated income inequality; and people who resist are deported off world. When your movie starts to wrap up by having one character explain who all the other characters were, something has probably gone awry. There are times where Captive State plays like a dumb sequel to Arrival, a far superior movie that also deals with human bonds and divisions in the face of alien invasion. But I don't believe that is ever spelled out clearly.). We see a woman at a garage get the same message, and so she goes to leave as well. Captive State is a sci-fi thriller from the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt). CAPTIVE STATE Trailer: Rise to Meet Your Legislature, Montreal Nouveau 2020 Review: SAINT NARCISSE, Walk Through the Witchy Mirror, LUCKY, PSYCHO GOREMAN, JUMBO, and More at Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival, Busan 2020 Review: In THREE, Soviet Rule Made Monsters Of Everyone, Busan 2020 Review: SPEED OF HAPPINESS Delivers Soothing Snapshot of a Unique Profession, Busan 2020 Review: COALESCE Shows Cambodia as a Land Compromised by Opportunity, Busan 2020 Review: FIGHTER, Compelling Character Study Winds Up Pulling Its Punches, Benjamin Umstead, Los Angeles, California. We don’t know who they are, where they come from, what they want (other than to strike back at the aliens), and so they become stock figures. For long stretches of time, the gloomy backgrounds invite torpor; we never get a full sense of the stakes involved or even what the resistors are attempting to achieve, except ... more resistance. Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, CAPTIVE STATE explores the lives on both sides of the conflicts - the collaborators and the dissidents. Mulligan seeks to keep Gabriel safe, even as he pursues his capture as part of his own agenda. This alien invasion film takes a not so typical approach at fighting an alien invader. When I'm not reading and writing about all things geek, I am an Emmy-nominated TV producer, formerly of Attack of The Show, who plays video games, watches way too many movies and TV shows. (There are strong hints that the alien creatures are harvesting resources they need from Earth, with plans to move on after they are finished, with no concern for what happens to humanity after that. In any event, the film follows a resistance movement that has grown in Chicago, Illinois, over the nine years since the alien creatures first landed. There are interesting ideas swirling around Captive State, but without a strong central figure, they never get to develop. There are times where Captive State plays like a dumb sequel to Arrival, a far superior movie that also deals with human bonds and divisions in the face of alien invasion. This means we get a lot of scenes where characters have secret meetings or send secret messages or spy on each other using the special implants the aliens have put in everyone, but the personal stakes are obscured. Copyright © 2008-2020, GeekTyrant Industries, LLC. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. We don’t know who most of these people are. Watch the 60-second review from One Minute Critic: You can check out more 1-minute reviews on One Minute Critic's Instagram or Youtube page. Putting that aside, if that's even possible, Captive State is most enjoyable as an alternate-blockbuster, one that seeks to be a modern-day social sci-fi drama, like The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), without necessarily identifying the social issues it is protesting. The opening credits of Captive State start with a series of title cards detailing the events of an alien invasion and takeover. Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders) is the younger brother of legendary insurgent Rafe (Jonathan Majors), but Gabriel just wants to live in peace away from the conflict. Wyatt wants to immerse us in clandestine operations from both the collaborators and the insurgents, but the result is a movie where we just see a lot of secret messages getting passed, scheming, and we don’t even know the characters’ names. But does it deliver a film that is as satisfying as it is original? It's entirely possible that I am not intelligent enough, or sufficiently perceptive, to understand the message the filmmakers are expressing. ///   Copyright / DMCA Notice Yes, the alien invaders are "bad," because of the obvious detrimental effects upon the resistors -- we witness many, many unhappy faces -- so are the filmmakers saying that protesting in itself is enough? The film is now playing in theaters throughout Canada and the U.S. Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Cookie Declaration  ///   Privacy Policy Rather than talking apes taking over the world, though, the opening moments of Captive State quickly sketch out how bizarre alien creatures, known collectively as The Legislature, conquered Earth and are now ... er ... doing something EVIL!!! Click the button below and wait for a message from our Facebook bot in Messenger! That’s a lot of interesting stuff that we’re only told about before the story picks up in Chicago, 2027. © 2020 Collider Cryptomedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All names, trademarks and images are copyright their respective owners. The 20 Best Comedies of the 2010s, Ranked, Just Because the DCEU Failed Once, That Doesn’t Mean It Should Be Abandoned, Exclusive: Charlie Hunnam Reveals the Real Reason He Turned Down ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, Watch: This Unaired John Mulaney and Seth Meyers Interview Is a Delightful Distraction, Wesley Snipes Refutes Claims of Bizarre ‘Blade: Trinity’ Behavior. They are “INSURGENTS” and that’s really all that means. We don’t know their personal lives or who they were before the invasion or how the invasion has impacted their day-to-day lives. With a story this spread out, it’s incredibly difficult to become invested in any of the characters. Here's What's Coming to and Leaving Hulu in April, Olivia Wilde and the Cast of 'Booksmart' Celebrate Hilarious Leading Ladies in…. Ashton Sanders and John Goodman star in an original sci-fi drama directed by Rupert Wyatt. Their parents were killed in the original invasion, and Rafe became known for his vigorous protests against the police state, peopled entirely by acquiescent humans, that The Legislature has imposed upon mankind. Unfortunately, the film is too focused on its massive conflict and weak reveals to make much of a statement. Perhaps if the film had focused only on Gabriel or only on Bill or only on the insurgent cell, we’d have more of a connection to these characters, but as it stands, Captive State is too dispersed and divided to make an impact. Despite the high-profile names involved -- Vera Farmiga also appears in a role that amounts to a glorified cameo -- the story is consumed with detailing the very low-key activities of a small group of resistors. 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