Captain Phillips review

I really did enjoy Captain Phillips.

A good performance put in by Tom Hanks (some of his more recent films I’ve been a little bit disappointed with) but here he really pulls out the stops. In turn he is nicely matched / contrasted against a youthful Barkhad Abdi (a new actor to the big screen) who plays Muse, the local Somali “captain” of a small group of pirates.
There is a degree of tension right from the start of the film. Even though we begin with Captain Phillips talking to his wife, just as a couple might, but you know something is going to be happening fairly soon. You may not know exactly what or how it may develop, but you’re still wondering if this going to be their last conversation they’re ever going to have together.

We then switch across to a Somali coastal village where we are greeted with the local war lords arriving up and bullying the local population into going out to be pirates. So we do have some sympathy with these local Somalis, it’s not exactly what many of them really want to do. The film then moves on to the capture of the container ship and I must admit I never thought a vessel of this type, whose acceleration is measured in minutes and multiples of minutes, and whose manoeuvrability is not exactly hand-brake turn style can potentially out-fight a small, manoeuvrable, nippy, lighter craft. However the pirates do get aboard and do their stuff and then we have this interplay between Tom Hanks and Abdi. There’s some really good action happening here. The building up of tension, suspense and drama which in turn leads on to the pirates waylaying Captain Phillips is totally attention-keeping. This leads on to a lot more interplay between Phillips and Muse, and also Muse and the rest of this small pirate group. As the film progresses on we have the arrival of the military, and here again there’s some really good interplay between the various different groups. And of course there is a resolution, it does involve a bit of bloodshed, but everything is in its correct context so this not out of character for the film.

I like the way the storyline develops, keeping my attention all the way through with the drama and the general suspense of what may or may not happen next.

It’s a little over two hours long. Some people have complained saying it was a bit too long and some scenes a bit too drawn out. You could have cut it down by perhaps 10 minutes but I’m quite happy with it the way it was. What I did find a little bit disappointing was at the start the way they did their camera work. It was in a hand held shaky-cam style which wasn’t quite to my taste. However once you’re on-board ship – which is a very shaky environment anyway – this really doesn’t matter. You’re soon not noticing these things as you’re lost in the overall plot and the running of the film. A definite thoroughly good, recommended go see film.

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