Captive State (2019) Movie Review
Take me to your plot!
Synopsis: Aliens have taken over and are occupying the world. Ten years after the invasion, things are slowly being set in motion for a small resistance who are beginning to fight back. Meanwhile, the Chicago police working with the new rulers are hunting them down.
Review: The brief description I just gave this movie is almost what I expected. Instead, this movie focuses less on the humans versus aliens angle and more so on the actual people on both sides. It’s less about fighting or creature violence and more about the characters and their lives through this new world. Personally, I like a good character study and a good story that tries to blur the lines between fiction and the real world; especially in today’s socio-political climate.
Unfortunately, there’s not really that much entertainment with the story itself, at the same time. This doesn’t happen all of the time, but I found myself nearly falling asleep during certain parts of the movie. It’s a shame as this from the same man who gave us ‘Rise of The Planet of The Apes’, which was an amazing movie that had a lot of entertainment value while still asking serious questions. so, there really shouldn’t have been an excuse as to why I couldn’t care less about anything that happens to our heroes or the human officials working with the monsters.
‘Captive State’ is still a thriller, however. While there were a few well-done moments of tension, there wasn’t enough of them. Going in, I knew that this wouldn’t be your straightforward Sci-Fi Horror flick, I went in expecting a thriller with aliens who have taken over the world. I did get some of that, but I felt as though there wasn’t enough thrill in this thriller. Yes, sometimes it is what you don’t see that is scarier than what you do see, so I appreciate not seeing the aliens a whole lot in this movie. Especially since the aliens look so terrible. I’m glad they didn’t go with the old “little green men” look and I didn’t expect this movie to some special effects extravaganza, but the aliens were probably the silliest things I’ve seen and the CGI did no favors.
I will say, however, that the acting did do a lot of favors for this movie and did help keep me somewhat invested in the story. ‘Captive State’ features a great selection of veterans like John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, Alan Ruck, and Kevin Dunn who breathe life into what could’ve been an otherwise dull experience. Relative newcomers like Ashton Sanders, Johnathan Majors, and even rapper Machine Gun Kelly did an exceptional job with what they were given. It’s these performances that were the heart of this story and helped add that human element to the film’s attempt at a message.
Despite what the ending to this film is trying to set up, I would not be surprised if ‘Captive State’ doesn’t get a sequel; let alone become a new franchise. I have seen worse Sci-Fi films but this film doesn’t even attempt at trying to be one of the good ones. I will say, however, that is may be one of the most boring films I’ve seen this year so far. If it wasn’t for the amazing acting and socio-political undertones, I would’ve simply skipped this movie and not feel bad about it. Of course, I don’t mind that I did watch it, but I don’t see myself rewatching this anytime soon.
Pros: Great Acting, Unique Story & Decent Tension
Cons: Weak CGI, Boring Moments & Obvious Sequel-Baiting
Captive State (owned by Focus Features, Amblin Partners, Participant Media, Lightfuse & Gettaway & Dreamworks)