Lazy Movie Review: Captain Phillips

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Premise:  A shipping freighter, captained by our titular hero (Tom Hanks), travels past the coast of Somalia, and gets attacked by a band of pirates.  The pirates, however, are not as fun and lovable as Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.  They don’t even have choreographed sword fights!

 

Pros:

-It has that great Paul Greengrass momentum.  Once it starts to get moving, it doesn’t ever really let up.  And if you think about it, the film only has a few major plot points (ship leaves, ship gets attacked, hostages taken, Navy shows up), but still managed to hold my attention throughout the whole thing.  It’s good writing in the same way that Dog Day Afternoon was good writing.  A simple scenario just sort of snowballs, without ever becoming unrealistic and convoluted.

-I think I need to see that one Navy SEAL movie they made a couple of years ago, because between Captain Phillips and Zero Dark Thirty, I think I kind of love watching SEALs take care of business in films.

-As a rare compliment I don’t give often, I wish this movie would have actually went on a little bit longer.  And it was already 2 hours and 15 minutes long.  I wish it could have stolen 15 minutes away from Prisoners‘ run time.

-Barkhad Abdi has a nice handful of brilliantly acted scenes as the leader of the pirates, Muse.  I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say he deserves Oscar recognition, but he was a clear standout as the most interesting character in the film.  I guess Best Supporting Actor tends to have colorful villains in the category all the time…  So who knows?

-Abdi’s hijacker character was an incredibly layered one at that.  Instead of just making him a cold, one-dimensional villain who points a gun at the white guys, the film gives him a backstory and rich character development.  His way of life isn’t exactly the most noble, but at the very least, this movie shows us his believable motivations for doing what he does.

-I wasn’t expecting to get emotional during Captain Phillips, but gosh darn it, I kind of got watery eyed at the end.  Tom Hanks can lay down a good cry!  Way to be a good actor, bro.

-If we’re talking about the ending; I liked it.  I won’t give away which specific emotions that I felt, as that would spoil the outcome, but I FELT MANY OF THEM.

 

Cons:

-The first couple of scenes are a little slow.  But I *GUESS* they sort of put the film into perspective…  WHATEVER…  Nice job, writers…  (rolls eyes)

-So apparently, the real life crew of the ship are bashing the actual Captain Phillips as a terrible boat captain.  I guess he made a lot of terrible decisions in real life.  So I suppose we can say this one was more “Inspired by a True Story”?  I think it may have been too much of a task to make Tom Hanks an unlikable guy.  Yeah, good luck with that.

-Other than the leader pirate, the other three hijackers are sort of one-note characterizations needed to make the film compelling.  There’s the overly mean one, the overly nice one, and then the one who doesn’t say much, but is kind of a jerk while at the same time doesn’t specifically do anything mean.

 

Final Thoughts:  I find myself not having *that* much to say about Captain Phillips.  It’s just sort of an entertaining movie.  At some point, can’t analysis just go out the window so we can enjoy an entertaining romp through the world of cargo shipments?  I, for one, was mainly interested to see if all those crates of waffle makers and UGG boots finally made it to JC Penney.

8 out of 10

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4 thoughts on “Lazy Movie Review: Captain Phillips

  1. baddada says:

    You mean Act Of Valour. The action scenes are excellent but the acting was woeful. It’s kid of like a more realistic Expendables but without the humour and charisma. If that sounds appealing to you then you should see it.

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