After seeing the first trailer for this movie, I thought this would be thought provoking sci-fi movie. That being said, this movie does not provoke any thoughts at all. It's badly written, directed, edited, and shot. The movie itself is ambiguous, without subtlety, or care for the craft being put onto the screen.
What does this mean? Well for starters, the editing is just plain bad, cutting to different angles every two seconds to pointless close-up reactions of characters, which brings no impact to a scene whatsoever. There's a huge lack of shots that go beyond 10 seconds, making it a headache to know or notice certain elements of the set. It reminded of the god awful "Oscar winning" Bohemian Rhapsody, which couldn't stand switching angles at each word being said. There's no focus on a single character in each scene, often talking about set pieces that we can't even see due to the obnoxious editing the movies has.
Speaking of no focus, the writing in this movie was just held captive by the amount of pointless montages, characters, and unneeded ambiguity to the overall story being told. Often times when a character is introduced we focus on him/her for a few scenes before disappearing and showing up after 20 minutes. There's also just so many pointless montages in the movie, like most of the second act is just convoluted with scenes that just make no sense at all. Which brings me to my biggest point in the writing. What was the point at all? The writing is needlessly ambiguous and mysterious that it's seemingly all over the place. I know that too much exposition is bad, but having no exposition at all in a movie that's the sci-fi equivalent of Liam Neeson's Taken, just makes me scratch my head. Like where did this come from? What is that thing he has there? Who is this character who just appeared? Why are they in this place now? It's all just so mysterious and fast paced at the same time, that it just doesn't make any sense at all.
This brings me to the biggest flaw of this movie, the directing. When you have a screenplay as ambiguous as this one, you'd expect a little more subtlety in the visuals, shot compositions, pacing, and overall flow of the story. Instead it's all just so heavily fast paced that is counteracts with the ambiguity the screenplay has set the movie up. Often times the movies would just be trapped in this roundabout of shots, that just seem so uninteresting and repetitive. And I know this film has a short budget, and if that would be the case, then why would most of the visuals be so "in your face" at times. And these visuals are not good looking as well, a lot of the times they are badly rendered, looking like a villain from a Power Rangers show. These flaws just make the story and script look so much worse, a good director would've have had tried to make all that work at visually or technically.
Captive State is a movie that will want you test your patience with a film that's ironically holding itself captive. The editing almost gave me a headache, the screenplay was somehow over and underwritten at the same time, and the directing is just so awful that it just breaks the movie apart even more.
I was pissed because the story and the world had potential, but everyone who worked on the movie didn't want to use that potential. If you like John Goodman, sci-fi movies, or the two combined (my reason for watching this movie) then go watch it. But overall, this movie was more disappointing than my divorce. I'd give this shit show a 3/10.