Captain Phillips Review

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I was treated to a free work night out last night to see Tom Hank’s latest starting role, Captain Phillips which is based on true events that took place in 2009. I’ll openly admit that I wasn’t really that excited to see this film, and knew next to nothing on the real life events this film was based on. Somalia Pirates attack, Richard Phillips survives and there’s your story, This will be a boring film right?

Wrong…

This movie gets going so fast with so much force from the get go. This film is 133 minutes but you can’t get bored, it’s genuinely none stop suspense. You get your standard 5 minute introduction to Captain Richards Phillips and his wife, you get a quick couple of scenes of Phillips on the Maersk Alabama walking by his crew, and seeing an apparent dislike from them towards their no-nonsense captain. Then it truly begins.

A first failed attempt to hijack the Alabama, The leader of the pirates Muse tries again the next day determined to take the ‘millions’ the ship has. It’s hard to imagine that Barkhad Abdi who portrays Muse has never had an acting gig before. His scenes with Phillips are fantastic and despite his skinny frame he really portrays a character you wouldn’t want to tangle with. The initial stand-off between Muse and Phillips is just the start of how tense this film is. From here you are treated to hide and seek game between the crew hiding on the ship and the pirates.

The remainder of the film (and there is still a lot of it left) is spent with Phillips being held hostage to the 4 pirates on the Alabama’s life boat, which is pursed by 2 US Warships and an Aircraft carrier. The US under no circumstances wants Phillips making it to the Somali shores, but can’t act with force and negations seem to go stale when Muse’s demands are millions of dollars.

What we’re treated to then is very much a “MURRICA! Fuck yeah” film, with much tension on how the final play will end. (Of course if you know how it ends)…

The final scenes really demonstrate just how much of a fantastic actor Tom Hanks is. He his tremendous throughout the film as expected, but the final moments where he succumbs to post-traumatic stress is acting of the highest order. Oscar nominations will definitely feature Captain Phillips, and Tom Hanks will most certainly be getting a nomination for best actor.

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