Film Review – Captain Phillips: Eddie’s Take (2013)

Captain Phillips

Title – Captain Phillips (2013)

Director – Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday)

Cast – Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Max Martini, Catherine Keener

Plot – The true life story of Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) who was taken and held hostage by 4 Somali pirates lead by Muse (Abdi) over the period of 5 days off the coast of Africa in 2009. The film acts as a fly on the wall account where the audience is thrust into the situation with not a moment to take the ordeal in.

“There’s got to be something other than being a fisherman or kidnapping people”

Review by Eddie on 1/11/2013

Without a shadow of a doubt Paul Greengrass’s take on the true story of Captain Phillips and his horrific ordeal is as fully formed and well constructed a tale as you’d ever get on film, and acts as one of the most tense and atmospheric thrillers of the year. It must be said though that the true life tale acts as a limited source material for a silver screen adaptation therefore limiting the praise that can be heaped upon it.

When one talks about praise concerning Captain Phillips all due comeuppance must be paid to the aforementioned Greengrass who again proves with this film that he is a true auteur at creating and constructing taut thrillers, this is even more evident in the truly flawless and heart pounding United 93.  The other form of praise must go to the welcomely back in form Tom Hanks who delivers a performance that reminds us as to why he was at one stage one of the worlds most powerful and believable actors, scenes towards the films end with Hanks particularly displaying a rare on screen breakdown that many actors could only dream of. Hanks award-deserving turn is matched by Barkhad Abdi as lead Somalian pirate Muse. Abdi’s turn is filled with raw and unnerving intensity and acts as a great example of natural acting talent. The material these actors and director work with here however allows for a gut wrenching first hour and a much less effective last act.

The way the story of this abduction unfolds as per real life events is a blistering white knuckle affair that is portrayed so well here in the film that the standard set can not last when the ordeal ventures into the small surrounds of the ships life boat, where the pirates plus Captain Phillips make there way to land and hopefully to a bounty that will suffice their criminal needs. This necessarily drawn out act of the film has some unquestionably lull scenes and one feels with a shortened length the films ability to race the heart would of been significantly sustained.

Greengrass’ film is virtually a technically flawless constructed movie with equally matched acting ability from all involved from main players through to bit players. Dispite it’s filmattic limitations due to subject matter, Captain Phillips is well worth seeking out and hopefully a stepping stone for Tom Hanks to get back to quality roles he was once so renowned for.

4 water cannons out of 5

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17 responses to “Film Review – Captain Phillips: Eddie’s Take (2013)

  1. stoked to catch this, my old man works on a tug boat and they recently returned from a trip to Nigeria. Two boats were taken by pirates during their trip, crazy stuff! Glad to hear a good review

  2. Good review. Agreed that the second half isn’t near as good as the first. Made the same point myself actually, and it’s the primary reason I gave this a B instead of an A.

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  4. Nice review Eddie. Captain Phillips I thought sustained the suspense all the way through, though I have to concede that when we get inside the escape vessel things get a little claustrophobic, but the acting still remained top-notch, and a constantly sharp script allowed for some revealing conversations inside.

  5. Good review Eddie. The whole movie was just an experience that I’ll definitely remember by the end of the year. Especially Hanks’ amazing performance.

  6. I thought the movie was good, but got kind of dull once they were in the life raft. However the ending was still able to climax well. And as you said, the performances were superb. You enjoyed it a little more than me, but I do agree it is a good movie. Nice review 🙂

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