Movie Review: Captain Phillips

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Captain Phillips posterSomewhere on the coast of Somalia are young poor men who hope to be chosen for the pirate missions. This isn’t fun, its a method of survival and being picked means you have a little bit more money to live on. In Boston Captain Phillips is gearing up for another cargo run. He gets to kiss his wife, talk about the kids and head off to work taking this large ship the Maersk Alabama around the horn of Africa. The ominous Pirate warning is very clear that paths will cross soon.

930353 - Captain Phillips

Columbia Pictures

Most of us remember the issues when the Somalian pirates were at their heaviest. We may not recall any of the events but they are in our collective. Captain Phillips is based on a true story of one such pirate attack. Tom Hanks speaks with a Boston accent that’s a bit funny as times. He’s the titular character and plays it straight. He’s calm, orderly and he doesn’t take nonsense from the crew. Its not clear how well he knows most of the crew and how the feel about him at the start is rather indifferent.

Captain Phillips

Columbia Pictures

The film fakes you out a bit because we first see an attempted pirate attack that actually doesn’t work out. When they attack again and board the boat the tension is through the roof. While the trailer is vague you get a bit more of the pirates perspective in the film. Its not condoning anything but you do see a bit how and why all these things take place. When the pirates capture Captain Phillips and attempt to take him back to Somalia for ransom you realize this has gone from bad to worse.

Captain Phillips

Columbia Pictures

I was very impressed by Captain Phillips. The action is just the right amount and the storyline progressed at a good pace to keep you invested. With a loose cannon pirate you keep thinking lots of things could go wrong at any moment. The tone changes as the film progresses from a crew trying to hold its own against a pirate crew to when the military intervenes and works to get the captain back. There’s a gratuitous eye-candy scene that is noticeable out of place. When the SEALs are called in there’s a scene of them half dressed changing out of wet-suit. It was long enough to get the attention of the audience as there were several whistles and hoots at the scene. I watched captain Phillips in a theater that was about 65% female. So if it was intentional I hope that’s the reaction you were expecting. Its still an amazing film one worthy of my highest rank. Don’t wait go see it now.

My Rating: Full Price
Director: Paul Greengrass
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 11. 2013
Run time: 2 hours 114 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13

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