Friday, October 11, 2013
Movie review: Tom Hanks shines in the based-on-a-true-story film Captain Phillips
This movie, intensity and all, is a must-see.
Captain Rich Phillips (Tom Hanks) is a simple U.S. container ship captain. His ship on this journey is the Maersk Alabama and while their current cargo run is simple enough the waters they are traveling are anything but safe. The Alabama is carrying cargo through waters just off the Somali, Africa coast. Waters that are over run with Somali pirates. Captain Phillips and his crew are easy targets as they are unarmed and slow moving. So when two a boat of pirates appears lead by Somali pirate captain Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the crew is as prepared as they can be. They gain the upper hand, but everything falls apart when the pirates take Captain Phillips hostage on a life boat and head straight for the Somali coast. Phillips and Muse are each helpless in their own way and they both do what they must in the struggle to survive. Also starring Barkhad Abdiraham, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener, David Warshofsky, Corey Johnson, Chris Mulkey, Yul Vazquez, Max Martini, Omar Berdouni, Mohamed Ali, and Issak Frarah Samatar.
RATING9/10 stars - Captain Phillips is one of the top films of the year so far for me. It has unexpected depth and thrilling drama!
Directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, United 93), Captain Phillips is based on a true story of two men faced with an impossible situation and their struggle to survive. Despite its heart-pounding story there is something simple and unforced about the film Captain Phillips. The grit and raw awkwardness suits a story based on true events. Much of the rawness comes from Tom Hanks’ performance. The rest comes from director Greengrass’ style of filmmaking that is realistic and in your face. Combined it makes for a film that will set your teeth on edge even though we all know the outcome and there is no suspense to be found or so you think. I stop short of calling this film a thriller, but it has aspects that are for sure. At its core however it is a true drama. The nice thing is there is no excess here. Every moment has a purpose to the overall story. While many will see this simply as a tale about one man’s survival of a horrific event. Really, Captain Phillips is about two men and their different struggles. The “villain” Muse is one of the worst. He has nothing to lose and that makes him doubly scary. Abdi provides a steady and impressive performance for man who has no other films to his name. I am sure the characters of the pirates are likely a bit more “Hollywood” than reality, but not having first hand experience I will take them for what they are and what it brings to the film. Now, Tom Hanks is phenomenal. What else would you expect? You believe every second of his performance, particularly at the end when everything comes to a resolution. Hanks is honestly at his best in his role and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were more than a few award nominations if not wins in his future for Captain Phillips. Captain Phillips is a must see movie. Don’t be the only person in your group of friends not able to talk about how great it was and how fantastic Tom Hanks really is and what the acting world would be like without him. Seriously go see it.
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