A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
"Captain Phillips" is the Hollywood retelling of the true-to-life 2009 harrowing story of an American container vessel Maersk Alabama (with Captain Richard Phillips at the helm) being held hostage by Somali pirates. The screenplay by Billy Ray was based on the novel "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea" written by Captain Richard Phillips himself.
Playing the titular character, Tom Hanks is what this film is all about. He starts off simply, playing Capt. Phillips as a family man and seasoned seaman on a routine delivery. However when the pirates came, you see him transform into a cool-under-pressure leader and shrewd tactician, matching wits with these desperate aggressors. In the last five minutes, Hanks would give us an unexpected display of emotion which may well deliver him another Oscar for Best Actor.
The four Somali-American first-time actors playing the pirates are a very realistic bunch. They play with wild-eyed and feral intensity, really scary. Barkhad Abdi plays their skinny foolhardy leader Muse, engaging Phillips in a deadly chess game, toe-to-toe. Faysal Ahmed plays the hot-headed Najee, who was the loose cannon of the group. Barkhad Abdirahman plays the young recruit Bilal, getting himself a baptism of fire on his first time out.
When I saw the name director Paul Greengrass in the credits, I understood why the sense of tension and urgency were so well-conveyed. This was that familiar sense of excitement we felt in his previous films, like the last two Jason Bourne films or that suspenseful 9/11 drama "United 93". He really knows how to make military operations exciting on screen, as he did for the Army in "Green Zone" and the Navy SEALS in this film.
I have to admit I was on the verge of getting seasick with the shakiness of the camera, but luckily I held on despite the two-hour length of the film set at sea.
Overall, this is a different sort of adventure drama, with a topic not too commonly tackled in a mainstream film. We hear of these events on the news, but this film brings us right in the middle of one. We will feel the tension building as the pirates were approaching. We will feel the fear when the pirates were on board. We will feel the desperation and the frustration of being trapped in the middle of the open ocean with no help immediately forthcoming. If you are up for such a realistic experience, then this film is for you.
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