Sunday, May 12, 2019

Captive State review

Captive State sounded like a good idea for a movie. It's a story about aliens invading earth and forcing their will on the population and that includes making humanity live by the aliens' rule of law. But good ideas for movies need execution.

The film starts out in flashback. Gabriel Drummond sees his mother and cop father killed as they try to escape the alien invasion. We flash forward where the aliens have conquered the planet and have placed their political syetem on Chicago. Ashton's father's partner, William Mulligan (John Goodman) works for the aliens enforcing the laws and hunting down human resistance. Gabriel is now a young man and is played by Ashton Sanders from Moonlight. He works at some factory doing something. I have no idea what he does except he seems to be a runner for the resistance. Folks, that's all you need to know about the plot as he disappears from the middle of the film The resistance has an assassination plan but because there are problems with this screenplay, I'm going to stop here in talking about the story.

So, I'm sitting in the theater when a woman in the back says, "I have no idea what is going on." I nodded in agreement. The utter lack of exposition in this movie kills it. I had no ideal what Gabriel does or why he does certain actions. And why is the resistance trying to assassinate this particular alien? How do the human tracking devices work? We, humans love our freedom but why are the people resisting? I had so many questions that I didn't care what happened towards the third act of this movie.

I also have a rule in monster movies. The film must clearly show the monster. Director and co-writer Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) has many of the scenes where the aliens are filmed at night or in dark garages. I couldn't see them. The best I can describe the main aliens as looking like a big hair brush with arms and legs. You want a top grade from me? Clearly show the monster.

This film may have been better off as a longer film or even a TV series. Of course, it would have to compete with the better resistance versus alien occupation TV series of Falling Skies. The confusing screenplay, and badly shot scenes make this movie a non-rental and wait for cable. The grade is C Plus.

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