Let me make it absolutely clear that docudramas are not my cup of tea.
I wouldn’t willingly see one on my own, and the only reason I’ve ever purposefully seen a docudrama is when I’m going along with a friend who wants to see one. From “Alive” to “United 93,” the lack of levity and predictable ending (you know, because we already know how it ends) is personally repellant.
That being said, “Captain Phillips” was pretty good.
Of course, all the docudrama ingredients are there. We’ve got our hero, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), who’s famous now for averting a Somali pirate attack by allowing himself to be taken hostage. None of Phillips’ crew’s lives were lost that day.
The thing that is both bothersome and pretty cool at the same time is director Paul Greengrass’ use of hand-held cameras. On one hand, the shaky, in-your-face shots gave me a feeling of how chaotic the circumstances must have been. The tight shots made me feel claustrophobic and dizzy in the cramped lifeboat.
On the other hand, some of those shots were just hard to watch. Who would have thought you could get sea sick in a theater?
The film had me on edge a lot; I think I might have even been more tense if Tom Hanks hadn’t been cast in the lead role. For some reason, I just can’t get past the fact that he’s Tom Hanks.
However, the actors playing the Somali pirates were great at creating extremely hatable characters. Talk about a good feeling when those suckers got shot in the end.
It’s not a spoiler. This story has been in the news and on bookshelves since 2009. If you don’t know the ending by now, then you must have just arrived on Earth. Welcome.
“Captain Phillips” deserves a B. It’ll win awards. I’m just glad I only had to see it once.
“Captain Phillips” is an intense film based on true events that had all audience members sitting on the edge of theirseats.
The film started off slow with a brief view into the life of Captain Phillips and the pirates, and the main pirate Muse (BarkhadAbdi). The start of Captain Phillips’ journey begins as it would being on a cargo ship: slow, but it picked up quickly when the pirates made their entrance.
Tom Hanks played his part in “Captain Phillips” masterfully and nearly perfect.
The only thing I didn’t like about Tom Hanks was his attempt at an accent at the beginning of the film. My annoyance slowly disappeared though.
The film had me tense throughout. Some of the camera shots were difficult to watch, but those shots just helped make the film more intense and had audience members on the edges of their seats.
The Somalian language helped with the intensity in its choppiness. The fact the producers used the native tongue of the pirates made it that much more authentic. The actors of the Somalian pirates were convincing if they do, in fact, speak English.
All the actors in the movie were top-notch. The crew on the ship acted their individual parts well. The other pirates and Somalians portrayed the bad guys perfectly.
It’s a tense film about a man making a choice to protect others. Captain Phillips is willing to do anything it takes to keep his crew safe. It nearly cost him his own life.
After the pirates are killed, the end of the film had a few people in the audience in tears. It was all extremely realistic, and everything from the camera angles to the casting was brilliant.
I would give “Captain Phillips” an A. It deserves the awards it should (and will) receive.