Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.
Chuck says: The first major surprise of 2019, Rupert Wyatt’s sleeper is an uncommonly smart piece of science fiction that, like all great genre pieces, has a potent subtext. The divide between the 1% and the rest of us is clearly defined here in the way the aliens in question and most of the inhabitants of Earth are portrayed, while Wyatt’s guerrilla shooting approach lends an immediacy and intimacy to the film that proves vital in creating a sense of urgency that gets under the viewers’ skin. The movie’s third act is one of surprises and switchbacks that are genuinely shocking, the film’s final moments causing you to reevaluate all you’ve seen before. Smart, exciting and timely, this is the sort of science fiction that’s head and shoulders above the standard Hollywood alien invasion flick and will prompt discussion after the credits roll.
Pam says: While the film certainly has the subtext that Chuck describes as well as the constant sense of urgency, it became a dull exercise in what felt like a typical alien invasion film. With little narrative arc, it wasn’t until the end of the film that the twist, an expected one, was revealed. Wyatt holds back key information to push you to think about the realm of possibilities of who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, placing you in the driver’s seat for decision-making. The lack of character development, unfortunately, took me out of the equation of connecting with any of the characters and it became just another sci-fi flick that will be quickly forgotten.