An Enthralling True Story with Tom Hanks at His Best!
Thanks to Sony Pictures Australia, we had the chance to see Paul Greengrass‘ Captain Phillips before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we still recommend that you go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
Based on true events, ‘Captain Phillips‘ follows the stressful odyssey of a US cargo ship near the African Coast of Somalia. The ship is hijacked by a group of Somali pirates, led by the inexperienced, ‘skinny fisherman’, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Unable to take full control of the ship, Muse decides to take Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) hostage, aiming to reach the Somali coast in an escape pod. This sets off a frenetic rescue operation in international waters.
Captain Phillips is like no other film based on true events, as director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy) manages to deliver an absolutely credible feature, with just one well-known actor (Hanks), and an inexperienced supporting cast as the pirates. And this is a cast capable of keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, making the more than 130 minutes a full, realistic experience.
The stressful suspense sequences, featuring US navy teams attempting to save Phillips are so intense that many viewers are likely to feel the same desperation as Hanks’ character – just counting the minutes until the nightmare is over. The minutes feel like hours, or even days, with director Greengrass employing camera movements, first-person shots and close-ups of Hanks and the hostiles so that no emotion escapes the lens.
The performances are flawless, with newcomer, Barkhad Abdi, showing no signs of inexperience in his role as ‘Captain’ of the pirates. And he creates a very interesting bond with Phillips. Tom Hanks, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be analysed; his outstanding performance feels so natural, owing to his ability to reflect minute changes in his character’s mental state. Moreover, during the last minutes of the film, Hanks delivers a scene worthy of an Oscar that will leave everyone with a lump in their throat.
Captain Phillips is simply flawless, and also conveys some important messages, especially relating to the problems experienced by countries in need. Too many young people are forced to commit illegal acts, such as piracy, in order to make money and live the American dream. This is something that Barkhad Abdi captures magnificently; and his performance is made even more powerful by that of acting titan, Tom Hanks. A must-watch!
Captain Phillips – Only at the movies October 24