Captain Phillips – thrilling to the end (review)

Just like every year, I resolve – sometime in January – to watch all the movies nominated for best picture. Of course I fail every time.

I did watch Captain Phillips, though. For one, Tom Hanks is always worth watching and for another, the trailer really enticed me.

And oh boy, let me tell you, the trailer keeps its promise!

(the following review contains a few spoilers but nothing major)

We follow Captain Rich Phillips and his crew as they take cargo to Africa and pass past Somalia. They are moving through international waters, yet there is a risk of contact with pirates.

When two dots appear on the sonar (is it sonar? the round thingy showing positions of ships… I know why I’m not on ships more often…) the Captain immediately knows – Pirates. They manage to outrun them (and rather cleverly, I dare say) but Muse, Captain of the second smaller boat, is set on returning and finishing his mission.

He and his three man crew attempt to take over the ship and while the Captain and his crew do everything they can think of to resolve the situation as quickly and peacefully as possible, the pirates are fickle and thus unpredictable. They want money and won’t stop until they have it, ensuring a thrilling ride that kept me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and pulling my hair.

I have to compliment the writer on his portrayal of the pirates. Billy Ray didn’t only show their criminal nature, he also showed WHY they are doing what they are doing. For when big ships come and exploit international waters, leaving no fish for Somali fishermen, thus threatening their existence, how can anyone not partly understand their anger and why they opt to highjack ships instead?

Barkhad Abdi, who played Muse, the pirate Captain, delivered a solid performance and Tom Hanks… He just blew me away in the end as his character was in shock, dealing with the fallout of the pirate incident.

Barkhad Abdi might not be my favourite for the Supporting Role Oscar (because how can he be after Jared Leto’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club), but “Captain Phillips” is definitely a contender for best picture.

Slightly superficial side note: 

OMG the Navy Seals. Hot men in uniform. Hot, very competent men in uniform. They even get to change in one (too brief) shot and oh yes, they can save me any day.

On a more serious note, if Navy Seals are anywhere near as competent as in this film, I bow my head to them!


Captain Phillips

D: Paul Greengrass

Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi

Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay


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