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Movie Review: ‘Captain Phillips’

“Is this how you do business? Is this how you do business?” Team building and high-stakes drama on the high-sea!

Hello moviegoers, today I’ll be taking a look at “Captain Phillips” which is based on the terrorizing experience of Captain Richard Phillips (portrayed by Tom Hanks), who was captain of the MV Maersk Alabama in April 2009, when he and his crew were taken hostage by Somali pirates.

Director Paul Greengrass is able to deliver the drama and intensity of the Hostage ordeal at sea through skillful camera work and taut editing in action sequences. With no music track and only ambient sound, he allows the intensity and seriousness of the situation to lock you in as the film progresses to its ultimate conclusion – resulting in a captivating thriller about the survival of men at sea.

Tom Hanks is as good as he’s been in a long time. He is efficient in his portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips who is courageous, terrified, and deathly concerned for his crew.

‘Captain Phillips’ (four sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Catherine Keener; Directed: Paul Greengrass; Genre: Action Thriller; Rated PG-13; Runtime: 2 hours, 14 minutes; Opens Friday 11th

On the shores of Eyl, Somalia, Muse (played brilliantly by Somali native Barkhad Abdi in his debut) selects his team from the many who are gathered.

The MV Maersk Alabama comes under attack by Muse’s skiff and with little else to defend themselves besides the ship’s power hoses, Captain Phillips has his crew stowaway in the engine room before the pirates are able to board the ship.

Onboard, the dynamic relationship between Muse and Phillips or Irish as Muse calls him, take center stage. Their exchanges are sharp and intense at times, measured and reason at other times. After all, we’re all businessmen here.

Phillips’ crewmen are able to use their knowledge of the ship to stay just ahead of the hostage takers and are able to apprehend one of the pirates. Captain Phillips is then able to negotiate his crew out of harms-way by having the pirates take him off the ship and onto an enclosed life boat.

Even in his desperation Captain Phillips shows humility towards his captures by dressing the injured foot of one of the pirates. This illustrates Phillips’ character, but at the same time underscores a situation that would lead fishermen to turn to piracy as a viable trade.

Muse is a very dangerous individual, but he might also be a captive of his situation. When Captain Phillips says to Muse there must be something else besides this, Muse, serious but calm, replies “maybe in America”.
The disquieting blare of horns marks the arrival use the US Navy and threatens the emotional stability of the pirates. Feeling evermore boxed-in, Muse agrees to negotiate with the presence of Elders. This of course would mark the beginning of the end.

Artful nighttime cinematography (here by Barry Ackroyd) and the dramatic arrival to the scene by the Navy Seals add to the drama. Seal Commander (played by Max Martini) is all business and would eventually order the kill-shots to end the Captain’s ordeal – well, pending a medical evaluation. And even here Hanks is in top form, as you’ll see! Great movie!

I give “Captain Phillips” four sweet potatoes out of four. This has been your resident moviegoer and I will see you after the movies at moviegoersview.com.

MV Staff
MV Staff
Moviegoers View - Entertainment. Culture. Talk.

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