Captain Phillips

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Category: Biopic, Drama, Thriller

Age Restriction: 13V

Length: 134min

Well known names: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi

Rating: 9/10

Captain Phillips is a true life story told in a powerfully realistic way. It is based on the 2009 hijacking of the first American cargo ship in 200 years and tells the story of how Captain Richard Phillips survived the ordeal.

In the first scene you are introduced to Richard and his family life as he get’s ready for another routine voyage around the horn of Africa. Then we cross over to the Somalian coast line and meet our antagonist, Muse, in his daily circumstances. As we learn about the struggles that his people face in poverty and how they are forced into pirating for the local war lord, we soon realise that survival depends on courage.

The suspense is there from the start as Captain Phillips shows his concern about shipping around the horn of Africa by double checking all the safety systems and putting the crew through a drill to make sure that everyone knows what to do in the case of a pirate attack. Even though everything is in place, you have this sense of the inevitable happening. No matter how much preparation is done, armed pirates won’t be able to be stopped with no added security on board.

When our two leading characters meet, you immediately note the struggle for power. They are both strong and in charge, yet they also both know that the other person has authority in his own right. Captain Phillips know that he has to allow Muse to think he is in charge and yet he still needs to keep his focus lead his men. On the other hand Muse knows that he has the upper hand with his weapons and everything-to-gain attitude, yet he is also sharp enough to realise that Captain Phillips is a man to be reckoned with.

From here we enter the surreal world where Muse keeps on telling us “Everything will be okay”, but all else points to the oppositeThis film was brilliant because of its simplicity. They kept this real-life story realistic and straight forward, which made the emotional aspect of it so much more real.

Captain Phillips keeps himself together throughout the whole film until it reaches it’s climax just before the end. His mind stays sharp until that very moment that you see all his control seeping out of him. You find yourself roped into his emotions as he just gives himself over to the immense shock of what has happened.

You can expect excellent acting from Tom Hanks, as he effortlessly becomes this character and Barkhad Abdi, who is new to the big screen, plays his part very convincingly. Captain Phillips is rated PG-13 for gun violence, adult language and very real-world drama. Because a lot of this film plays off in the water, you often see the rocking motion of the boats and waves which has led to some sea sickness in the audience. 

If I could describe this movie in one word: Intense

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