REVIEW: Captain Phillips

Emma Rhodes reviews Captain Phillips.

I recently went to Edge Hill University for a viewing of the Tom Hanks hit, Captain Phillips. I had been eager to see this film since its release as I had heard nothing but amazing reviews but sadly never got round to the cinema to see the 2013 hit.

The film is based on the true story of Captain Phillips whose US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. What made this story even more remarkable than the struggle of Phillips is that this was the first American cargo ship to be attacked successfully by pirates in over two hundred years!

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is an adaptation of the novel written by Richard Phillips himself: “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” explaining his physical and mental struggle through this horrifying tale. Tom Hanks has to be one of my favourite actors and I have thoroughly enjoyed pretty much every film I can think of which he stars in. Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile and Cast Away shows the strength of Hanks’ acting abilities and the serious roles he can easily transfer onto the big screen to global audiences. Hanks was certainly the key actor for such a role as Captain Phillips and his performance is once again perfect.

Barkhad Abdi plays ‘Skinny’ Moses, the leader of the fearsome pirates. This was the Somalian born actors first credited film, and what a film he was cast for. Despite playing the leader he is probably one of the more compassionate pirates and is certainly the most intelligent of his gang. ‘Skinny’ certainly has the greatest determination to take charge of the huge cargo ship and bring back his treasure in order to change and better his own life of poverty. Abdi gave such a good performance that he was actually awarded with a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor.

Captain Phillips BAFTA

As Captain Phillips fights to save not only his ship but also the innocent crew he has to protect, he is taken as a hostage within the cargo ships tiny lifeboat where he remains for several days along with the four heavily armed and fired up pirates. The US Navy is definitely portrayed as a strong force not to be messed with, coming to save the Captain and following the small lifeboat for days until they retrieve their countryman.

Captain Phillips pirates

It was nice to see a film including more realistic pirates after the Pirates of the Caribbean line of movies which glamorises the lifestyle through Hollywood hunk Johnny Depp. Captain Phillips proves that this portrayal of pirates could not be further from the truth and shows the true horrors and threat which still remains today on these waters.

I would highly recommend anyone to see this powerful film and would rate it a strong 4 out of 5 stars.

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