One of the longest traditions of science fiction is its incredible ability to address social issues and concepts without directly being about the specific social issues of the day. Captive State is very clearly a science fiction movie in this ilk, as the new trailer shows with its nearly direct references to many of President Trump’s current claims. Of course, in this case, the lies are coming from an alien race that has taken over the world (or possibly just Chicago) for ten years, with collaborators supporting their propaganda and others fighting in the resistance.
I’m slightly worried about how on-the-nose the movie looks, though. Director Rupert Wyatt delivered a solid movie with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but it wasn’t until Matt Reeves took over the franchise that the films’ social and political tones were truly handled wonderfully. There’s a fine line between making a good science fiction metaphor that subtly and effectively comments on modern-day issues and basically yelling that your movie has two meanings. From this trailer, it feels like Captive State is more of the latter. That doesn’t mean it will be bad, but I’m hoping it can be great.
Captive State lands in theaters on March 29, 2019.