There are movies that leave you wondering when you leave them. You leave the theater, go home, dissect the film, and just continue to ponder. Captive State is one of those films.
This sci-fi film is the film of the year, in my humble opinion. It put me in the mind of 10 Cloverfield Ln, District 9, and Sleight. A sci-fi film that focuses more on the story and less on the sci-fi. The marketing for the film was horrible, but the final product was purely amazing. The film was ambitious in every way possible and it ultimately pays off in the end.
The film is about an Alien invasion of earth that starts out hostile and turns into a peaceful negotiation between humans and aliens. The Aliens are basically dictators, stripping the planet of all resources. Of course, just like any other hostile takeover, there’s a resistance. The plot focuses on Gabriel Drummond (Ashton Sanders/ Equalizer 2), the last survivor of a family whose father was in the resistance. He’s one of many vocal points to the plot, as it also focuses on the lead detective William Mulligan (John Goodman/10 Cloverfield Ln). His character is a bit mysterious and is captivating every time he’s on the screen.
Johnathan Majors (White Boy Rick), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Machine Gun Kelly (Bird Box), all co-star in the film and do an amazing job. Of course, there are other well-known actors in the film, and they all help to tie the film together. The one thing that bugged me about the film was the color scheme, as it was very dark and dreary. There were moments when the film wasn’t as dark, but the colors still disrupted certain moments that were meant to be bright. I understood the color scheme because the film has a dark tone. Overall, there were moments it did not match up.
The cinematography done by Alex Disenhof (The Exorcist TV show) did an absolutely amazing job. The way the camera works throughout the film is awesome. The editing was also wonderful; no holes, just points of confusion that are done on purpose. The way the screenplay places a detective story in a sci-fi setting is great. The dictatorial, deep state aspect of the film helps bind it to make it a political film that shows you what can happen when you give in.
This is certainly not a movie without issues. The flaws do not override the overall quality, but they do hurt the film in many ways. I enjoyed the film, and after sitting on it, this film isn’t as great as I thought whilst leaving the theater. Even though director Rupert Wyatt does a solid job at bringing this to the screen, it just needed a bit more.
Have you seen the film? How do you feel about it? Comment below with your thoughts!
Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.