Paul Greengrass leaves behind the world of spies and espionage to bring us the based on true events tale of Merchant Navy Captain, Richard Phillips and his harrowing run in with Somalia pirates staring the modern day Jimmy Stewart, Mr Tom Hanks. Despite neither the trailers, nor the subject matter exactly selling me on this movie it must be said that this is quite comfortably one of the better films to come out this year and very likely the first of this year’s Oscar contenders.Paul Greengrass is on top form here bringing his signature style of fast moving thrills punctuated with quitter periods to allow for compelling
character driven moments. Both aspects here are threaded together with a burning wire of tension, driving you through the ever darkening misadventure of a real life civilian sea captain. One thing that is easy to say about this movie is that it’s never boring as it masterfully moves between big, almost bombastic sequences that steadily get bigger and bigger in scale as the films rolls on, to some absolutely compelling and emotional performances by Tom Hanks and even more surprisingly Barkhad Abdi who takes on the intriguing role of Muse the Pirate Captain.
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Tom Hanks shows us why he is the king of Hollywood once again, the everyman who can slot into so many parts and strike a chord with your average member of the public. His Captain Phillips is both subtle and powerful, and doesn’t give us a cartoon Starfleet captain. Instead he shows us a man of authority who is ever so detached from his crew to the point that he’s somewhat unlikable. In short this feels like the real Captain Phillips and not a romanticised account. Greengrass handle what could have been a slow plodding drama with some much flair, and injects so much tension and spectacle that you’re gripped from beginning to end. Both exciting and impressive Captain Phillips doesn’t do a whole lot wrong and is definitely one we can whole hardily recommend.
Ben's a movie buff, games enthusiast & all around nerdy type. He takes care of most of the technical things on the site and is a regular host on ScreenHogUK podcasts where he loves to go off topic as much as possible.
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