After the critical acclaim and Oscar buzz, I had to see Captain Phillips. I didn’t know the story (I stay away from current events because they’re depressing) and I love me some Tom Hanks. While I’m not a fan of Paul Greengrass’ direction and some of the slow moments in the film, Captain Phillips is a great thriller that should most definitely be seen on the big screen.
Captain Phillips has Mr. Rich Phillips, the captain of a cargo ship going through Somalia waters, having his ship taken over by pirates. He will do whatever it takes to secure the safety of his crew and, of course, himself.
The plot to Captain Phillips is based on a true story and there have been many reports that the film is inaccurate and that Captain Phillips did a pretty lousy job. While I obviously cannot attest to this, the film felt real and that’s what I care about in the end as a viewer. The cast (most importantly Tom Hanks) and crew did a spectacular job capturing the intensity and emotion in this situation.
Unfortunately, the movie runs at a whopping 133 minutes and this story simply doesn’t have enough to keep it going for that long. A lot of unnecessary scenes involving the military were thrown in and the movie itself just takes a while to get into. Cutting the movie to maybe an hour and 45 minutes would’ve been preferable. I understand that the film needs downtime between the more intense scenes but some of the downtime outstays its welcome.
Speaking of the intense scenes, damn. Captain Phillips has some of the most intense and arm rest gripping scenes in any movie this year. Your heart will be pounding many times in this movie. Granted, I didn’t know the story heading into it but my friend knew the story and came out loving the intensity he felt.
That intensity is achieved through Paul Greengrass’ direction which is a mixed bag for me. Some scenes are beautifully shot but the shaky cam and film grain took me out of the film. If you’ve seen Greengrass’ Bourne films then you are well aware of that shaky cam. If you were fine with it there, you will be fine with it here but I personally despise shaky cam with a burning passion. Thankfully, there isn’t a whole lot of shaky cam here but it’s still something to point out. It’s the film grain that is horrendous. It looks like I’m watching the film on my laptop instead of in the theater. It’s distracting and ugly and some more time in the editing room sharpening up those scenes would’ve gone a long way.
While I wouldn’t say Captain Phillips is one of the best films of the year, it’s certainly deserving of the praise. The cast and crew do an outstanding job with this film with Tom Hanks in particular knocking it out of the park. The movie could’ve been shortened down and that film grain will give me nightmares but Captain Phillips is still an entertaining and intense film that should be seen.
For reviews and more from me, Petey Oneto, you can check out my blog but be sure to check back to Resident Entertainment for more of my posts in the future.