CAPTIVE STATE: After a particularly humiliating loss by his team, NFL coach John McKay (He was at Tampa Bay so you know the loss must have been humiliating.) was asked after the game about his squad’s execution. His succinct response was, “I’m all for it”. Such are my own sentiments about this extremely muddled and non-cohesive science fiction movie which challenges us to ponder the notion of extra-terrestrials invading and overpowering Earth supremely enough to rule over its’ populace. But rather than load the work with ultimately futile attempts to battle the aliens in the vein of INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996) or THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953, 2005), Erica Beeney and director Rupert Wyatt’s (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) screenplay explores the lives of the occupiers’ Earthly collaborators and a group of resistance fighters in 2027 Chicago who have only the tools of 20th century technology to utilize like classified newspaper ads, phone booths and record players. Even the cars look like they’re refugees from the ‘90s despite the fact that the takeover had occurred only nine years earlier (Whoops.). It’s only one of numerous defects in this inferior work which is totally lacking any narrative structure and where the editing appears to be disjointed owing to a couple of meandering storylines. There are a few attention-getting characters like the former policeman (John Goodman) now protecting and serving his captors/employers as he attempts to quash a local uprising spearheaded by a pair of sibling resistance fighters (Jonathan Majors, Ashton Sanders). Visually, this is a murky looking film that looks as though it were shot through filters to go with the rather mediocre looking CGI effects. The “invaders” themselves (Referred to as “Legislators”. Give that some thought.) are seldom seen and their presence is hardly ever felt. When they do make an appearance, it’s in night scenes where they resemble what looks like a walking mop that mated with a porcupine. I’ll give some credit for the admirable thinking and idea for this movie which hints of political subtext, but the result is borderline frustrating to watch. I’m reminded of a Mexican quote from BARBAROSA (1982) which states that “What cannot be remedied must be endured”. The best remedy I can offer up for this cinematic exercise in futility is just to stay a respectful distance away from it. CRITIC’S GRADE: D+

CLOSING CREDITS: Here are some far better movies with John Goodman that you may have mistakenly characterized as just a “television actor”. – THE BIG EASY (1987), RAISING ARIZONA (1987), EVERYBODY’S ALL-AMERICAN (1988), PUNCHLINE (1988), SEA OF LOVE (1989), ARACHNOPHOBIA (1990), THE BABE (1992), MATINEE (1993), MOTHER NIGHT (1996), BRINGING OUT THE DEAD (1999), O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000), MONSTER, INC. (2001), MY FIRST MISTER (2001), GIGANTIC (2009), THE ARTIST (2011), ARGO (2012), FLIGHT (2012), TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (2012), 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016)