“Captive State” stars John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Machine Gun Kelly, and Vera Farmiga. Released on March 15, 2019, the film is about a police officer who leads a rebel group against an extraterrestrial army.
The film is directed by Rupert Wyatt, who also directed “The Escapist”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, and “The Gambler”. It didn’t take us long enough to get another film about an alien invasion. Because obviously, everyone loves watching humans battle invaders from outer space. This sci-fi film, however, actually represents a scenario in which the aliens finally conquered our beloved planet, but don’t worry, we humans don’t give up that easily. This concept alone was the only reason why I went to go check it out even though we’ve seen this type of scenario before in some of the other sci-fi films. So far, the film has been receiving some mixed reviews upon release, and I can understand why.
Most of the sci-fi films briefly represent the "resistance" scenario and their fight for freedom, especially in the third act. "Captive State" appears to be one of those types of films, but instead of being an action-packed beat-em-up, it relies heavily on the drama as well as the thriller aspect of the scenario, and the result is something that left me feeling either intrigued or disappointed. I'm not kidding, this one took me a while to figure out whether I liked it or not. I did appreciate the director's effort in making a more grounded and political version of the genre without succumbing to its usual action blockbuster vibes, but I felt that it didn't do much else to please those who are expecting it to be like the trailers, which is an action thriller, emphasis on the "action". The fact that the plot had a couple of underwhelming or slow scenes didn't exactly help that much either. On a positive note, the cast did deliver some solid performances, including John Goodman and Ashton Sanders as Mulligan and Gabriel Drummond, respectively, and the thriller aspect in the second and third acts had a good amount of intensity to keep me engaged. Another issue I would like to address is the lighting. There were a few scenes that use dark lighting for the film's atmosphere and the action. The problem with that is that they made it too dark for me to see what's happening. I couldn't imagine watching it again at home when the sun rays hit the television screen.
Overall, "Captive State" has plenty of intrigue and plot to keep me invested, but everything else was a hit-and-miss. It's neither good or bad, it's just something that has some moments that I respected, and some that I thought could've been improved to make it better. Maybe my opinion will change once I watch it again at home, but until that happens, this is exactly how I feel towards it. It was interesting, but not in a way I was hoping.