Monday, October 14, 2013
Captain Phillips review
Every once in a while, a movie comes around that really surprises everyone. A movie that looked just alright, but turned out to be an amazing thrill ride. I suppose last year it was probably Argo. This year it's Captain Phillips. The film is ripped straight from the headlines, but still manages to keep you on edge even though you probably knew the ending. The movie's about a modest New England sea Captain, named Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), whose ship gets boarded by four armed Somali pirates. The only way the pirates will get off the ship is if Phillips comes with them in a small lifeboat. Which he does, being the great captain he is. After that it's nothing more than extreme tension. To say Captain Phillips is exciting would be an understatement. This is mainly because of Paul Greengrass' direction. He's the guy behind a couple other "true story" thrillers and what I think is the best Jason Bourne flick. He's no stranger to movies like this. Which is why it's no surprise that he can make the movie so damn breathtaking. Although I have to say his shaky camera aesthetic can get a bit tiresome after a while. In his defense, this is an appropriate movie in which to use the shaky camera technique. One thing I particularly liked about the movie was how they didn't make the antagonists these nameless criminals who were hellbent on nothing but destruction. A lot of films fall victim to that . (I'm looking at you, Die Hard 2). Most of the pirates are horrible and deserve what they got, but you do start to feel for them a bit. You really can never condone their actions, but you start to understand why they're doing it. It shows what happens in real life without making it some heroic action movie. Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray really succeed with that. Tom Hanks hasn't been anything really great lately. Cloud Atlas (which came out last year) was just alright, not great. Especially compared to Hanks' past filmography. Captain Phillips is a terrific comeback for Hanks. I wouldn't be surprised if he scored an Oscar nod for this movie. Tom Hanks plays the title role with a sense of realism that I forgot he was so good with. It reminded me of his performance in Cast Away mixed with the one in Saving Private Ryan, with his unique brand of regular guy likability thrown in. Captain Phillips may be Hanks' best movie since Catch Me If You Can. The only other well known actor here is Catherine Keener as Andrea Phillips, Richard's wife. Although being a very talented actress, she's only in about five minutes during the beginning. I know that there wasn't much room for her, but I would've liked for Keener to be used to her full extent. Not worry though, this is Hanks' movie and he shows it. The only other notable performance is Barkhad Abdi as Muse, one of the Somalian pirates. He plays the part quite well, with a certain fierceness. I went in to Captain Phillips thinking it was going to be an overrated movie that the Academy was going to slobber over come awards season. The Academy may love this movie, but now I know it will be justified. Captain Phillips is one of the more exciting movies and well-shot of the year with a terrific performance by Tom Hanks. Definitely, I can say that it's better than the other true story movie we had this year, Pain & Gain. I give Captain Phillips 4.3 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies.