Arts & Leisure

Don’t be a prisoner of “Captive State”

JOHN GOODMAN in “Captive State.” Maybe he thinks the movie stinks, too.

By Jim Tortolano

So these giant porcupines invade Earth in flying rocks and – with no obvious effort – conquer the planet. A decade later resistances arises in a run-down section of Chicago that – arguably – was picked for on-location shooting because you can’t imagine anyone demanding money to make a movie there.

This is “Captive State,” a stinky sci-fi disaster that makes the cheesy “Invaders From Mars”-type movies of the Fifties look like “Citizen Kane.”

The plot is waxpaper thin and the special effects look like they were done on a 1983 MS-DOS IBM computer, possibly by someone wearing mittens, or boxing gloves.

John Goodman plays a police commander dealing with the resistance and his face never changes expression throughout the agonizing hour and 50 minutes. Vera Famiglia, the other recognizable face in the film, is wasted and only appears on the screen for a few minutes.

Ashton Sanders – remember him from “Moonlight”? – spends most of the movie running and being hunted in his role as teen rebel Gabriel Drummond. There’s some point to the chase scenes, I suppose, but I zoned out from constant glances at my watch to try to determine how much more of this mediocrity I had to take.

The studio – Focus Features –spent $25 million on this turkey. A more entertaining effort would have been to pile the Hamiltons on the sidewalk and make a huge bonfire from them. At least people watching could feel the studio knew how to do one thing right.

“Captive State” is a sci-fi film about an alien invasion of Earth. It’s rated PG-13 for violence, language and some sensuality.



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