CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is a tense, exciting, realistic movie that's based on a true story about the hijacking of an American cargo ship off the coast of Somalia in 2009.
Tom Hanks deserves an Oscar nomination for his emotional portrayal of Richard Phillips, the ship's captain who risked his life to guarantee the safety of his crew.
The ship that Captain Phillips commands has no guns of any kind, so it's completely vulnerable when the pirates attack.
Phillips takes charge immediately, lying to the invaders and doing what he can to protect his crew. But the pirates are desperate men, impoverished Somali's under orders from local warlords. They are pointing high powered weapons at Philips and a handful of other men who didn't go into hiding below. Screaming, yelling, threatening to kill everyone, it's a volatile situation to say the least.
Eventually, the captain is taken captive on the ship's lifeboat.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is a good film, but it was hard for me to sit through. Not only is the tension ratcheted to almost unbearable levels, the cinematography is so shaky and the editing so chaotic that I felt like I needed some Dramamine.
Still, it's fascinating to watch Hanks in a battle of wits with these crazed pirates who could kill him at any moment. "The Navy's not gonna let you win," Phillips tells the pirate in charge. "They'd sooner sink this boat than let you win." The pirate (well played by Barkhad Abdi) replies, "I come too. I can't give up. It was supposed to be easy. I take ship, ransom, nobody get hurt."
"There's gotta be something other than kidnapping people," Phillips says to him. "Maybe, in America," is the pirates response, "maybe in America."
Towards the end of the film, when his long ordeal puts captain Phillips into a state traumatic shock, Hanks is so utterly convincing it was painful to watch.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org