Captain Phillips (2013)


An American cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates provoking a hostage situation and intervention by the might of the U.S. military.

This true life story based upon the experiences of Captain Richard Phillips is presented in the pseudo-documentary style that has worked so effectively in the past for director Paul Greengrass and features a typically worthy performance by its star Tom Hanks. The situations are clearly very tense and there is some nice interplay between Hanks and his adversary in the form of Barkhad Abdi, whose character is not exactly sympathetic, but the script steers clear of stereotype or demonisation and at least attempts to make the audience think as to why and how his life has led him to this situation. Captain Phillips is a taut and efficient thriller, the true life origins of which gives food for thought, but as the plot is little more than an extended hostage negotiation I couldn’t help feeling that it could’ve been told a little more economically.

It is technically very proficient however, and certainly worth seeing at least once.



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