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.