Captain Philips

Dylan Rupptrecht

Director Paul Greengrass brings Captain Philips to audiences, the true story of an American cargo ship that was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, casting Tom Hanks as the movie title character.

Greengrass is most known for directing the action-thriller Borne trilogy, and his trademark action elements still populate Captain Philips.

Captain Philips is an experienced cargo captain and is on what seems to be just another voyage. Taking a commercial vessel around the horn of Africa, Philips is aware of the history of pirate related hijackings experienced in those waters and cautiously gives his crew an emergency drill. During the middle of the drill, a small boat with four Somalian pirates approaches the ship and threatens to board using a makeshift ladder. Philips eventually is kidnapped and taken for ransom, which causes the US Navy and Seals to get involved.

This movie does well in bringing a sense of humanity to each character, even the Somalian pirates who seem to have no choice in high jacking commercial vessels living in poverty run by warlords.

Hanks plays Captain Phillips and brings a strong presence, but doesn’t lose his humanistic traits of fear despite standing firm under pressure; that’s one of the things I enjoyed most about the film.

When put into the context that it was based off actual events, this movie is taken to another level. Greengrass commented in an Ask Me Anything event he held on Reddit, “I’m 100% satisfied that the picture we present of these events in the film, including the role playing by Captain Phillips, is authentic.”

One definitely gets the sense that everything from the crew’s handling of the high jacking to the coordination of tactics deplored by the Navy, are definitely feasible, which makes it all the more exhilarating.