Review: Captain Phillips (2013)

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They’re not here to fish.

What would it take to make a strong comeback to red carpet after you last won the award 19 years ago? Challenge yourself.

That’s what Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips (2013), an action thriller (well, there were some drama in it) based on true story. What would you love more than true story based-films? A true story based-film with Tom Hanks in it. And a really convincing screenplay.

Captain Phillips follows a linear plot: a group of armed Somali pirates hijacked a huge cargo ship, Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) did everything to save his crews, only ended up being held as hostage. Then there were another gargantuan ships, US Navy SEALs, chopper, drama, gun shots, killings, everything you’d love from a—again—true story-based action thriller.

Tom Hanks delivered his best performance since Forest Gump (1994, just to refresh your memory). Strength and fragility. Courage and hopelessness. Those pairs of words bill him perfectly here, and he made the transitions from one adjective to another smoothly.

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Then there was Muse (Barkhad Abdi), the skinny & confident leader of pirates, who gave another strong performance. Granted, he’s barely heard and it’s not apple-to-apple comparison to Hanks’ magnitude. He’s a natural bad guy. Very rude & cunning. Antisympathetic. But he’s fragile too. Both actors thrilled me.

“You’re not just fisherman! You’re not just fisherman!” is quite probably the paramount of this film. And a scene where Hanks barely able to speak a word, stunned & sobbered, bare-chested, was moving. His tear flew through his upper cheeks and you couldn’t help but get absorbed into his fragility—and strength.

Safe bet: Oscars nominations for actor in leading role, adapted screenplay, original score. Captain Phillips completes this year’s trifecta of devastating-stories-that-are-so-good-you-have-to-see: the beautifully poetic Gravity and the dark, gripping Prisoners.

 

Photo credit : IMDB.

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