My Thoughts on Captain Philips

CaptainPhillipsFrom director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) comes this true story about the captain of an Amercian cargo ship and his near-death experience with Somali pirates.  In 2009, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) sets sail in the MV Maersk Alabama on journey towards Mombasa, Kenya.  Phillips’ journey takes him off along the coast of Somalia, which is known for its pirate activity.  Indeed, Phillips soon finds his ship boarded by a group of Somali pirates, lead by Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who have plans to hold the ship hostage.  What follows is a tense standoff between Phillips and the pirates, which leads towards a nail-biting standoff. Captain Phillips is a film that came under the radar a bit for me.  In fact, I wasn’t really planning on seeing the film in theatres.  I changed my mind when I heard great word-off-mouth about the film and I am really happy that I managed to catch the film. Just like Argo last year, the major challenge of Captain Phillips is to be a tense thriller, even though there’s a good chance that the audience is going to know exactly how these true events turned out.  This was indeed the case for me, since I knew most of what happened in the movie, before I went to go see it.  However, that did not stop the film from being incredibly tense at times.  In fact, I was quite on the edge my seat during the final half hour of the film, which is when the suspense is at its highest.  It just goes to show how these types of movies are much more about the journey than the destination.  Just because I knew how these events were going to turn out, it didn’t stop the plot of the film from being a very tense ride. The film is also quite good in its character development and even works to somewhat humanize the Somali pirates and give some sort of explanation for why they do what they do.  Captain Phillips also features a great performance by Tom Hanks and I would be surprised if the film didn’t result in Hanks’ first Oscar nomination, since Cast Away back in 2000. It’s worth noting that this is the first film that really has Hanks starting to look grizzled, complete with a grey beard, and it shows that he has far progressed from the guy, who got started in all those popular comedies back in the 1980s. Even though there has been a minor controversy over how faithful the film is to the true story, which always seems to be the case this these types of films, I thought that Captain Phillips was an excellent survival thriller, which is very much successful an creating a very tense situation out of the events, despite me knowing how things will turn out.10 | LOVED IT  

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).