Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Catherine Keener, David Warshofsky
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Synopsis: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
I finally got round to seeing Captain Phillips on the weekend, and I think because of all the huge praise it has received I was actually a little underwhelmed. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, I thought it was really good, it just didn’t quite live up to what I was hoping for.
I thought my nails would be scraping huge chunks out of my chair due to unbearable tension throughout, and whilst there were scenes of great drama and tension, my chair stayed in tact. Maybe, like Gravity, it was a film I had to watch on some towering IMAX cinema screen. I also thought that the film was better suited to being on the ship rather than the life boat, that was where I was most engaged.
However, that aside, I can’t fault the performances from anyone involved, mostly, as usual, Tom Hanks. After about thirty years the guy is still very much at the top of his game. The closing scenes are close to acting perfection I guess. On the other end of the spectrum, the lead pirate played by Barkhad Abdi, who I think wasn’t even a professional actor, was absolutely amazing. He went from vicious, to scared and back again numerous times, all extremely convincingly. In fact, all of the non-professionals who played the pirates were brilliant.
In summary, I think Captain Phillips is probably a film that I needed to see when it first came out and all the buzz and excitement about it had yet to come to the fore, as I think this built my expectations up so high that the film never quite matched them, despite being very good.