Hello there people of the interweb, time for the second film review of the day and after reviewing Escape Plan, its time for me to talk about Captain Phillips. Now I have only known about for around two months, but ever since I saw the first trailer I’ve been really hyped for this film. You had Tom Hanks, one of the most accomplished actors ever along with Paul Greengrass at the helm who has directed some of my favourite films (Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum and Green Zone), how good you go wrong? So I went into this film with fairly high expectations and I think its fair to say that I wasn’t let down. 🙂
The story of the film is a biopic retelling the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips and the Somali pirate captain, Muse, who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
I thought the story in this film was SO good. I like how it was meant to be a regular day for Phillips and his crew, but when the pirates appear things start to get iffy and then once they board the ship everything goes to shit. From there the film is all about the connection between Phillips and the pirate leader Muse. Everything about the plot screams of a good solid thriller, it has action, loads of suspense and tension so high it leaves you on edge nearly all the time. The tension in this film just get bigger and bigger as the film descends into more dangerous and chaotic situations, and what I loved was that the film didn’t feel cheap or cliché. Most things played out in a realistic, dramatic and emotional fashion that keeps you invested from start to finish. Now I know that there are apparently inaccuracies to the way events truly went down, but I’m just looking at this as a film on its own merits and for me the story works just fine.
Now let’s talk about the cast, all of which do a fantastic job as the characters they portray, but the stand out performance has to be from Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips. Hanks has always been a very well-received actor in most of his films, he’s proved time and again that he is a very versatile actor and in this film he is no different. Hanks kills it as this sea captain who wishes to keep all of his crew mates safe while at the same time trying to talk sense into the pirates. The main covers all ends of the emotional spectrum and the thing is, he never makes it feel cheap, all of these scenes that Hanks acts out feels real, raw and you really feel for his character during this terrible endeavour. I see why people are talking about Hanks potentially getting an Oscar, I feel like he deserves too haha.
Not there to be outdone by Tom Hanks, one of the other key stars of this film is Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, pirate leader. For a dude making his acting début Abdi does a bloody good job. Muse has this seriously intimating presence, with piercing eyes and cold, aggressive, yet cool personality to boot. What I like about Muse is that even though he is a bad guy, he does have a reason for doing what he’s doing and behind all the bravado, there is a human behind all the evil and Abdi really sells this character to the audience. Also Barkhad Abdirahman as Bilal is one of the most intense bad guys I’ve come across, even though he is the underling of Muse, Bilal has his own opinions on what should be done during the hijacking and this leads some really crazy, scary and tension-building scenes where Abdirahman really shows off his acting skills too. As for Faysal Ahmed as Najee and Mahat M. Ali as Elmi, they’re good in their roles too but its note as noteworthy as the other above.
Moving onto the presentation now and I have to say it worked very nicely. Visually the film definitely looks like a Paul Greengrass film, the cinematography and slight shaky camera reminds me out the Bourne films and the scenes at night, while a bit dark, were shot really well. soundtrack by Henry Jackman is very nice offering up some wonderful variety and multiple moments of emotional music that really amplifies the action that’s happening on-screen. Oh and one other thing to note, there’s one track in this film that I SWEAR sounds just like a rearranged version of the song “Time” by from Inception soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. I won’t say where in the film the track plays, but SERIOUSLY listen to it and tell me you don’t hear it too!
In conclusion Captain Philips is a fine film and I can easily say its my favourite film of the year so far. Unlike the other crap I’ve had to sit through this year, this film was genuinely great from start to finish. The combination of Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks is brilliant and they have made a film that is completely solid. I highly recommend this film to everyone looking for a GOOD film at the cinema, this is amazing material that no one should miss out on. 🙂
Rating: 9/10 (Such a good film with real drama, action, emotion and all the other good qualities of a great thriller)
So what did you think of Captain Phillips? Did you enjoy the tension-based thriller at the high seas or was this story not for you? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next film review yo! 😀