Sunday, 17 November 2013

FILM: Captain Phillips (9/10)

Why did I watch it?
I liked the look of this film from the moment I caught the first trailer. It looked exciting, intense and a film that could give Tom Hanks a platform for another great performance.

What's it all about?
In 2009 the Maersk Alabama was boarded by Somalian pirates off the coast of East Africa. Captain Phillips recounts the events that took place that day, the ordeal of the ship's crew and of the US rescue mission to save Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks).

The Good:
  • Tom Hanks' fantastic performance as Captain Phillips. The level of emotion he displays in the scenes at the end of the film need to be seen to be believed.
  • The performance of the Somali actors, in particular Barkhad Abdi as Muse and Faysal Ahmed as Najee.
  • Change in dynamic from the crew of the Alabama versus the hijackers to the US Navy versus the hijackers on smaller scale keeps things fresh
  • Paul Greengrass' direction keeps the tension up throughout. I loved the decision to instantly stop the music playing of the dramatic chase scenes as the hijackers ladder fixed to the side of the ship.
The Bad:
  • There's no denying that the final third played out like an advert for the US Navy. They were awesome! I would be more likely to sign up after seeing that than watching Battleship but if those are the events that transpired then what could the screenwriters do if they wanted to be faithful to the story?
Pirates in a Hollywood film with no guy-liner in sight. Take note Jack Sparrow.
Favourite line:
'I'm the captain now.' - Muse

Stand-out moment:
The pursuit of the Alabama by the pirates' skiff is thrilling to watch and brilliantly directed.

Like the cast? Watch: Castaway, The Green Mile
Like the director? Watch: United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum

What my wife would say: Saw it and she was crying by the end.

What the world thinks:
Rotten Tomatoes - 94%
Metacritic - 83/100
LAMB Score - 4.31/5
Twitter -

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