Movie review: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

Captain Phillips still - Tom Hanks Irish

Captain Phillips movie poster large malaysia
Based on
: Richard Phillips & Stephan Talty’s “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea”
Rated: P13
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 135 minutes
Director: Paul Greengrass
Screenplay by: Billy Ray
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener

Synopsis: Captain Phillips is director Paul Greengrass’s multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is—through 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 his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray and based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca.

Release date in Malaysia: December 5th 2013
Distributor / studio(s): Sony Pictures Malaysia / (multiple)

Watch the trailer

Verdict: Yes, this film may be inaccurate in a bad way that’s marketed as though it’s really “based on true story”. Yes, the real Captain Phillips was probably an useless asshole during the actual hijacking. Yes, the movie probably should’ve given more history and background of how these Somali fishermen opt to become pirates instead of just plainly portraying them as villains. And yes, the plot/premise of the film isn’t exactly out of the ordinary. But if all that are put aside, Captain Phillips is actually one hell of an intelligent, intense fast-paced thriller with acting performance so impactful that they deserve Oscar nominations for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. Tom Hanks played the titular role to perfection (although not accurate to the real person) and the final scene is so realistic that it’d made you want to give him a hug. Barkhad Abdi’s performance as the pirate leader Muse is so well acted that you’d hate and sympathise him at the same time despite probably not even written with that intention. The film may also be one of the most detailed and realistic hijack-survival films ever made.


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Second opinion: My girlfriend said it was so real and convincing that she actually cried at the end.

Captain Phillips true story vs. movie:

According to the real life crew of the Maersk Alabama ship, the portrayal of the titular protagonist is highly inaccurate as the real Captain Phillips was actually irresponsible and did practically nothing to be assumed as the hero of the event. Read more about its facts against fiction on Slate.com’s article here.

Tom Hanks vs. the real Captain Phillips
Barkhad Abdi vs. the real Abdulwali Muse of Captain Phillips

Malaysian censorship: Nothing to cut besides the language.

To pay to watch? Well, it deserves the penny, I’d say.

Rating: 4 / 5

Captain Phillips Muse Maybe in America meme

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