If you want a romantic love story on a boat check out Titanic, not “Captain Phillips.” 2-time Oscar award winning actor, Tom Hanks, shows his true skills in navigating the viewers through this heart pounding adventure. Not only did it do well, it opened with $26m against the second weekend of “Gravity.”
“Captain Phillips” is based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship by the Somali pirates. British director Paul Greengrass (the “Bourne” sequels) is his same old self. Using his normal action packed, unique camera movements (makes you a bit seasick at times), and his mostly unknown cast, other than Hanks, we are kept entertained on this whirlwind of a ride.
After some lockdown procedures, Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) prepares for captivity. Not just the boat, but also the entire theater is now on lock down. I’ve never seen such an intense game of hide and seek before in my life. Have to pee? Need a refill on popcorn? No! Your butt is stuck to that chair until the very end. The sold out theater full of Hanks-loving fans didn’t go anywhere. Fans haven’t been this thrilled with Hanks since “Cast Away.”
A little background on the character; Phillips is a family man with wife and kids. We connect with the Captain early as his wife drops him off at the airport. Little does she know, her husband is going into deep water with the very determined, starving, and aggressive Somali pirates. The leader, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), doesn’t take no for an answer and is very hard to come to terms with. Captain Phillips does what he asks as best as he can, while also trying to keep in contact with his crew. He radios in the emergency, and help is on the way, but not as fast as we all would like. Through some intense arguing, hiding, and injuries, Phillips finds himself captured in the very claustrophobic lifeboat with the very complicated, angry Somali pirates. Wanting to make amends, the skeletal Somali’s demand millions in exchange for letting him free. At this point, no one knows who is going to get out of this alive, not even the Navy SEAL’s.
Apart from the story, acting was outstanding throughout. Hanks, with a stellar performance, can possibly be seen as a nomination for best actor in a leading role. Other performances coming from Michael Chernus, as ship crew, and Catherine Keener, as Mrs. Phillips are also outstanding. The cinematography, the Screenplay, along with the directing, are all superb. “Captain Phillips” will leave you breathless as Hanks turns in an amazing performance. This American hero film will keep you immersed throughout the very wavy story line with maybe a tear shed here or there. “Captain Phillips” is a hit, for sure.