Gabriel’s older brother, Rafe (Jonathan Majors), believed to be dead, is a central artery in Phoenix’s rebel cause.
Because Rafe is Gabriel’s last lifeline to family—when the Legislators first arrived in Chicago, their parents were killed in an attempt to flee north—he agrees to cooperate with Mulligan in weeding out the last of Phoenix in exchange for his brother’s life.
As alien occupation thrillers go, Captive State sits in good company among Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi allegory District 9 and the 2005 Tom Cruise–led War of the Worlds.
It’s a film that understands the limits of terrain—Wyatt’s eye never leaves the bleak tundra of Chicago for some intergalactic expanse of the alien overlords—with a feel for the politically cosmic.
And though the rebel cell is imagined with a radical tint, Phoenix mirrors the sentiments of social justice factions like the ACLU and Black Lives Matter; in policy and tone, the Legislators don’t seem too far from what the Trump administration is working toward: total, unimpeachable control over the civil liberties of its citizenry.