My initial thoughts on seeing the trailer for Captain Phillips:
“Hey, wasn’t that a real story a few years ago? Probably. Is there enough for a whole movie?”
My next thoughts on Captain Phillips after seeing three different trailers:
“Come on, this is already a true story,sure, but why’d they give away the entire movie in these trailers? There is nothing left to tell!”
My thoughts when I saw the run time:
“133 minutes? For fucks sake. It’s just a boat capture and rescue mission. This going to be super drawn out.”
My initial thoughts after watching the movie:
“Fuck. That was good. Even the bad guys were good!”
Bad guys = good. Stay with me here.
Travel back in time with me kiddos to the year 2009. Yes, very far back indeed. Somalia was all sorts of fucked up. Civil war, strife, there are no rules there anymore, just warlords, and they have turned towards piracy. A lot of boats sale around Somalia, and those boats can either A) Have lots of money of valuables on them, or B) be taken ransom to gain money and valuables.
Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) has a big cargo ship, full of crates, but it is a lot of aid to give to countries in the area. They are big, they are alone, they are a target.
Led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi), his crew of three others (Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali) storm the boat to try and get rich or die trying. Like 50 Cent.
And you know. Shit eventually happens. They stall for as long a they can, and try to keep everyone safe and not injured, then the Somalians take Phillips in a life boat and sale back to Somalia for ransom time. This becomes a big national story in America, the president gets involved, and eventually the Navy SEALs are called in. Then stuff really starts to hit the fan.
I feel awkward explaining the story. Im going to stop that. Michael Chernus is the second in command, and Catherine Keener plays Phillips’ wife, but she only has like, one scene in the film.
What’s that you see, Tom? Is that an Oscar for Best Actor you see in the distance?
As you can see, I went into the film thinking it was overhyped. I mean, it just didn’t look appealing. Despite it being a cool story, I thought the story would make for a poor film. And, I was worried about the historical accuracy. We get to see the pirates before they even leave Somalia, when they decide which groups will go out searching for ships, and all of that jazz. Well, one of the four pirates did survive the attack and is currently in prison. I guess he could have told the story and filled in the gaps from their point of view, but I doubt it. Most likely, the movie makers filled in their own gaps to tell a better story. Which is fine, but curious.
Obviously it is so that we realize that these people were humans too, who had their own reasons for doing this, and they aren’t inherently evil. Always a good message to reiterate.
I didn’t go into the movie thinking I would cry, but that sly mother fucker Tom Hanks acted his way into my heart. To me, the movie did start a little bit slow. I was intent on looking for areas to cut, and I think some scenes early on weren’t too helpful and weren’t that interesting. The acting from Hanks looked like it would just be him doing a funny voice and being a panicky older gentleman.
But the second half. Dat second half. Oh man. Basically just after the pirates made it to the ship, the acting from everyone was kicked up a serious notch. I loved the captain of the pirates a lot, who displayed great emotions of fear, anger, and guilt. But Tom Hanks when he was in the lifeboat just crushed every hope I could ever have of being happy again. Okay, that is extreme, but I felt that when it was close to the climax. I was scared. I was sad. I was even sadder after he was rescued and realized he is finally safe. He just. He just acted so fucking well, damn it.
Really, I am not sure how much I liked this movie, but I will give it the 3 just to be on the safe side. It is probably 4 territory, but there is enough small stuff early on to limit it a bit. Still worth the watch solely for Tom Hanks’ ability to pull on those heart strings.
3 out of 4.