Captive State: a Movie Review

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Captive State: a Movie Review
Captive State has a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Wikipedia)

Staff Writer

Captive State is a sci-fi film directed by Rupert Wyatt, following the citizens of Chicago, which has been invaded and taken over by extraterrestrial life forms. The film stars Ashton Sanders as Gabriel and John Goodman as William, and has made a total of 3 million on a 25 million budget.

Even though I went into Captive State blindly without even watching the trailer, I still knew that the film was in the sci-fi genre and involved aliens, which made me look forward to it. Sadly, it centering around politics rather than the main focus, which should have been aliens, I found was quite dull and boring. I understand Wyatt wanted to try a unique take on an alien invasion film, but combining it with politics was a dreadful mistake. The first five minutes of the film were quite entertaining and promising. It involved the aliens landing on the planet and wreaking havoc on the civilians, a prime staple that should always be in an alien film. But after this, it takes quite some time until the audience sees the aliens again, which is when they attempt to make peace with the citizens of Chicago, until a bomb goes off, killing several of them.

The cast’s acting was nothing special either. Goodman, who starred in 2016’s amazing alien invasion film, 10 Cloverfield Lane, just wasn’t at his best in this film. His character didn’t fit his persona at all, and he was extremely awkward to watch on the big screen. Some of his lines made me cringe from how ridiculous they sounded coming out of his mouth. In the film, he was supposed to be a really cool and fierce cop, but this was the complete opposite of him. Sanders’ performance was mediocre and did not stand out at all. Although he was a much better character than Goodman because he was more developed throughout the film, I still couldn’t find him likable due to his selfish attitude throughout the film.

Lastly, the CGI used in the film seemed extremely unrealistic and fake, especially during the moments involving alien ships. As for the aliens themselves, I’m not quite sure why the director decided to make them look like sea urchins, but in my opinion, they looked ridiculous and not frightening in any way.

I understand why a director would like to take a new spin on an alien film, as they can become repetitive and cheesy. However, even if the film is still generic, usually it is at least still quite entertaining. Unfortunately, Captive State’s ambitious attempt at trying to be unique failed, making the one hour and fifty minutes at the movies feel like an eternity.


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