Review: Captive State

Last night my wife and I were con­tem­plat­ing going to the movies. She real­ly want­ed to see the cystic-fibrosis–related teen rom-com/­dra­ma Five Feet Apart, and I want­ed to see the post–alien-invasion SF dra­ma Cap­tive State. So we com­pro­mised: she went to Five Feet Apart, and I went to Cap­tive State.

Cap­tive State starts off with the alien inva­sion, and gets it out of the way, pret­ty much, dur­ing the cred­its. The rest of the movie deals with the after­math: the aliens impose peace, the humans set­tle in under their rule, life goes on, ter­ror­ists try to dis­rupt the new world order.

The sto­ry fol­lows a pair of broth­ers, Raphael and Gabriel (sub­tly named after archangels), their involve­ment in the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Phoenix, and the tra­vails of the com­man­der of the local police force, Bill. As the sto­ry opens, Raphael has been killed in a ter­ror­ist attack, Gabriel is liv­ing day-to-day in a Chica­go neigh­bour­hood, try­ing to fig­ure out a way to escape the city, and Bill is try­ing to find out who’s Num­ber One in Phoenix.

Char­ac­ters appear and dis­ap­pear, some name­less, some impor­tant to the sto­ry. The inner machi­na­tions of a ter­ror­ist attack are dis­played, but with­out much in the way of expla­na­tion: if you don’t under­stand what’s hap­pen­ing, you’re pret­ty much just expect­ed to go along for the ride.

I must say, I was nev­er bored dur­ing the movie. Some­times I was annoyed, because I want­ed to know more about some of these peo­ple, but the movie gave me just bare­ly enough to make me care, at least a lit­tle bit. Also, I saw at least two of the Big Twists™ com­ing almost from the get-go.

If you’re look­ing for an alien inva­sion movie that makes you think, makes you work for the sto­ry, you might enjoy this one. If you’re look­ing for anoth­er Bat­tle: Los Ange­les, well, you’re prob­a­bly going to be disappointed.