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.
To a worldwide alien invasion, there are two sides of the story…only, they are not good and evil, man and extra-terrestrial. They are those who do something about or for the cause, and those who idly sit by and watch. From a conceptual standpoint, Captive State has a lot to offer: part H.G. Wells’ thoughtful and observant sci-fi, part quick-paced thriller that ought to bait big audiences. Ultimately, though, neither sentiment is fully achieved.Viewing Captive State is a little bit like opening a soda for the first time long after its shelf life: it has promise, but ends up flat insignificant. This result is largely because of director Rupert Wyatt’s pacing choices. His editing team does not bounce evenly from side to side. Instead of creating arguments and making valid points throughout the film, he ends up treating the material lightly and without much attention, giving stories unequal and aimless amounts of attention. Further referencing Wells, the film suffers from a War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg’s 2005 adaptation) issue, being that the reveal of the creatures are not only unsurprising and lack a definitive thrill, but we do not as audiences truly get to know them. There is nothing truly to fear and nothing truly at stake when we do not know what—or why—we fear what we do.
Rich with violent content and language as well, Captive State does not receive Dove approval.