Captain Phillips FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Columbia Pictures, Translux, Michael De Luca Productions and Scott Rudin Productions present a PG-13, 134 minute, biography, crime, drama, thriller, directed by Paul Greengrass, written by Billy Ray and based on the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” by Richard Phillips with a theater release date of October 11, 2013.
No one really knows what the day has in store for them when they wake up. I mean we can all make plans but when they involve other people or situations they don’t always pan out the way we want them to. Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) lives in Underhill Vermont, has a wife Andrea (Catherine Keener) and two grown children and on March 28, 2009 he wakes up with plans to fly to Salalah Port, Oman to Captain the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama. His crew consisting of about twenty men including Shane Murphy (Michael Chernus), the Captain’s right hand man are all experienced and ready to set sail. As for Captain Phillips he was very aware of the dangers in the Somali Basin and knew that an attempt by pirates was always a possible threat.
Meanwhile in Ely, Somalia a band of Pirates under the command of Garaad are planning to highjack a ship at sea which turns out to be the Maersk Alabama. After some first failed attempts by the Pirates, Muse (Barkhad Abdi) and his team of three other men, Bilal (Barkhad Abdirahman), the youngest of the four, Najee (Faysal Ahmed), the hot headed strong one picked from another village and Elmi (Mahat M. Ali) who happens to be a bit on the nervous side, end up boarding the ship after several attempts by the crew to stop them. Once on board, firearms in hand, they take hostage of the Captain and two of his men while the other members of the crew hide in areas of the engine room per instruction of the Captain. The intensity builds as Muse and his men attempt to search out the crew who already happened to cut power to the ship along with the lighting.
Muse has nick named Captain Phillips, “Irish” due to his heritage and from that point referred to him as such and himself as the Captain. A lot happens on the ship during the standoff but when Muse is taken hostage by the ship’s crew a deal is made which ends up with the four pirates aboard an escape lifeboat with one problem, Captain Phillips is taken with them. The Maersk Alabama is following the boat as the pirates try to make their way back to the Somali coast. Soon the U.S. Navy is involved along with the Navy SEALS which turns into one on the edge of your seat thriller in the international waters off the coast of Somalia. Even if you remember the outcome I can guarantee you will be breathless in the last moments of this final attempt to save Captain Phillips.
Greengrass does a brilliant job in directing this film and Ray is right there as well with the writing but the cinematography, sound and overall visual effects are superb. What starts off as a biography turns into one major suspense thriller to hit the high seas. Grant it I think a few scenes could have been shortened to shave off a bit of the lengthy time of the film but that aside this is a must see adventure that will keep you captivated the entire time.
Hanks hands down is phenomenal from start to finish and in his final moments in the story his acting skills really shine during a traumatic attack on his physical and mental stability. Abdi although seems to be a small man in size is frightening with his passive aggressive behavior leaving the audience unsure of what he would do next. Ahmed with his wild outbursts was definitely a good character to add to the story since his unpredictable over the top reactions made the situations even more intense. The story seemed to add a bit of sympathy for Abdirahman due to his young age but in the end he was old enough to know what he was getting himself into. Or was he? Once again though Hanks like in so many of his other films controls this story even though it is riddled with many military characters, Navy SEALS, other supporting actors and some outstanding moments on the big screen. My last and final words at the end of the movie as the audience applauded for this film was ‘intense’. I love America. Written and highly recommended with three and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.
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