Captive State

Director: Rupert Wyatt
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 2.0

More dystopian sadness hits the United States - specifically Chicago - but a-ha! there's at least some cleverness going on in it: spiky, clicking aliens have taken over the country - to mine our precious resources - but there is a faction of humans actually helping them and enforcing their laws, with Police Commander Mulligan (the ever-so-great John Goodman) and his team investigating a group of insurgents called Phoenix (Alan Ruck, Ashton Sanders, James Ransone and others) who want to stage an attack at Soldier Field.  There are so many outstanding ideas in here - Wyatt co-wrote the script with his wife Erica Beeney - that it would have been better suited as a multi-episode series on Netflix or Amazon Prime since it needed a lot more screen time to get to actually know the characters and pace things out instead of rushing around to vaguely put it all together.  It gets the atmosphere right - those swarming cameras, those tracker bugs, the pronged space noodles - which makes it even more disappointing: sometimes the "big screen" isn't necessarily the right medium for a concept.