Let Us Give Thanks for the 'Captive State' Trailer

A 'Cloverfield'-like viral website for Rupert Wyatt's political sci-fi movie has also arrived.

Captive State
Focus Features

Here is another sci-fi friendly reminder that Americans are willing to sacrifice anything for a little stability. No talking. No smoking. No littering. No red meat. No kneeling. No freedom of religion. All marriages must be approved by the Department of Health. Failure to obey these rules will result in an immediate loss of citizenship and deportation to the island of Manhattan, or Chicago as the case may be here.

Ah. Nice to see that the disembodied voice from Escape from New York remains relevant. Anyone got a gun I can eat?

After a brief flirtation with the X-Men spin-off Gambit, Rupert Wyatt returns with Captive State, a not-too-subtle assault on apple pie values. The land of the free looks safe, secure, and somber. Taking place a decade after our alien overlords restored order by eradicating simple concerns like poverty, crime, and healthcare, a small band of resistance fighters assembles while the rest of the population collaborates with the extraterrestrial force. C’mon folks, don’t allow your nostalgic memory for the constitution get in the way of the unbreakable state of the union.

Gah. That massive legislature ship (???) hovering over the football stadium sends nauseating shivers down my spine. Kodos has sealed the deal on his rule by instating gnarly, intimidating and incomparable firepower. Hats off, hands over hearts, bow down. However, I’m sure Kang would have been a much more benevolent leader. Oh well, there’s always next election.

While you catch glimpses of only a few participants in this first teaser, the cast Wyatt has gathered to portray both sides of the occupation is massive. John Goodman, Vera Farmiga, Ashton Sanders, Machine Gun Kelly, Alan Ruck, Kevin Dunn, D.B. Sweeney, Kevin J. O’Connor, James Ransone, and more. Anyone guess who will fall on the left and the right? I’m sure the filmmakers are determined to remain fair and balanced like this particular audience member.

Taking a page out of the Cloverfield handbook, Captive State has established a viral site over at thelegislaturegov.com. Your mileage may vary regarding this level of clever/cutie marketing, but it’s a blackhole resource for those looking for information beyond what this teaser provides. Beware, it’s a timesuck.

You can browse through various avenues of extraterrestrial propaganda as well as stumble into the occasional resistance cell. I recommend a skim through Mayor Lee’s crime report noting the all-time low murder rate of 1%. His appreciation of his masters is boundless. No need for a Purge here. Amen.

Clicking on Unity News gets you the hot scoop on John Goodman’s CPD Officer Mulligan. He has quickly risen through the ranks of polite society thanks to his vigorous pursuit of the terrorist agent known only as “Phoenix.” They live, we sleep. His head will be the first to get lopped if the tides on this occupation were to turn.

Wyatt is mostly recognized for launching the Planet of the Apes reboot only for Matt Reaves to take over with a couple of near-masterpieces. Lately, when he’s not directing Gambit, he’s been plugging away behind the scenes of television. With The Exorcist series behind him and the Showtime Halo event ahead of him, Captive State is an opportunity for him to unleash a hard, creative slap upon an unsuspecting audience. It looks like he can do it.

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Trekkie, Not Trekker. Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects, co-host of the In The Mouth of Dorkness Podcast.