Rupert Wyatt's CAPTIVE STATE
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This is one impressive “alien invasion aftermath” movie. We seldom see the aliens themselves. We do see first hand what their rule has done: create a sharply divided society where the “haves” who work with the aliens to rule live in relative luxury compared to the squalor in which the rest of the population is concentrated.
As is usual in such films an underground “insurgency” has evolved to oppose rule by the extraterrestrials. We follow a police officer (played by John Goodman) as he attempts to snuff out the insurgency. Domestic electronics have for the most part been outlawed and he has monitoring tools not normally available to regular citizens.
On the other hand the insurgency has evolved a mix of traditional and old fashioned means (would you believe carrier pigeons and classified newspaper ads?) to communicate their plans.
Much of the movie is a cat and mouse game between the police and the insurgents as we follow multiple characters in a plot that initially appears chaotic and disjointed. But things are not as they seem. What we end up with is a very tense series of chases and surprises as we move to an unexpected climax.
Some critics have complained about too many characters and a plot that would be more appropriate to a mini-series, but I disagree. It’s a pleasure to see a solidly acted movie that focuses on desperate people not on overbearing special effects. This is what happens after the aliens take over and employ the “locals” to help enforce their authoritarianism. We’ve seen that play out over the millenia here on earth which is one of the reasons why this far fetched adventure film doesn’t feel so far fetched after all.
Review copyright (c) 2019 by Dennis D. McDonald