In a near dystopian future, about ten years after their arrival, aliens have taken complete control of the government. Set in Chicago, “Captive State” explores the lives of the human beings being forced to live under their control.
Rafe (who has since been presumed dead) led an unsuccessful but meaningful uprising against the aliens with a group of people called the Phoenix. However, things start to change for Rafe’s younger brother Gabriel when William Mulligan (John Goodman), a Chicago police officer looks for information on Rafe.
“Captive State” isn’t the typical type of alien invasion film like “War of the Worlds”. Instead is focused on the humanistic portion of those stories much like in films like “District 9” and “Arrival”. However, it’s unfortunate that “Captive State” lacks the conference and flow that those films possess as there are often way too many plot lines occurring at once, making the film much more complicated than it needs to be.
There’s a great idea in the screenplay, but the amount of characters and plot lines over stay their welcome. The film attempts to act as a social commentary, but the message can be construed due to the abundance of unnecessary fluff thrown in the mix.
There isn’t as much screen time with the actual aliens as hoped, but when we do see them, they’re visually inventive to say the least, much like in the critically acclaimed “Cloverfield”. Similarly as well, there’s plenty of action and violence seen in the film. Those scenes can be fun to watch as well as being incredible tense.
“Captive State” seems to be successful in some of its aspects and not so successful in others. It’s entertaining but it’s not an easy film to get through and by the end of the movie, you’ll either be thoroughly satisfied or completely confused.
More than anything though, the film is meant to be very dark as it portrays the possible end of human life. It can be difficult to recommend these types of films for that very reason. If you’re looking for an easy, fun sci-fi thriller, this may not be it, but if your into though provoking movies, this might be your cup of tea.