CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

Reads: 256  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
REVIEW OF THE MOVIE CAPT. PHILLIPS

Submitted: November 14, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 14, 2013

A A A

A A A


Captain Phillips - The movie

If you don’t want to get your toes wet , don’t go to this movie. From the 10 th min in you are aboard the ship as the eponymous hero Captain Philips is sketching to route ahead. .Hanks plays Captain of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama. Your attention is immediately drawn to the dreaded Somali valley –notorious for piracy. ( The ships plying this route were advised b...y their insurers to stay up to 200 miles off the African coast- out of the reach of small power boats favoured by the pirates )
Hanks plays a man alone with his decisions. He is unhappy with onboard security from his first boarding and he orders an emergency exercise which immediately alerts you to a rather feeble self protection system of the Alabama ..
Their defence in the event of attack is to use strategically placed hoses presumably to sink any advancing intruder. They have no weapons –despite every sea captain having a right to hold a pistol- in the event of mutiny.
As we are in the wheelhouse , meanwhile a group of ‘’fishermen’’ are getting a hammering form their bosses – el quaeda ( though they later deny this ) – they need to capture a large vessel in order to demand a ransom . We do know that million dollar ransoms have been pain in the past, secretly by ship owners to retrieve their ships.
The actors playing the pirates are evidently Somalis – untrained actors – they are constantly chewing the Khat plant –Khat can induce manic behaviors and hyperactivity similar in effects to those produced by amphetamine )The stimulant than engenders bravado and fearlessness.There is a brief scene on the beach where a woman is prancing round selling the plant . Her brother boasts she sells the best stuff in the region. They set out to sea against a high rolling wave pitching the boat every which way , but they are skilled boatmen and they are speedily on their on their way
We then follow the pirate boat with its mother boat – a trawler to stretch the reach of the power boats which will make the attack. The craft the pirates are using is an open boat about 25 feet in length powered by two 50 HP engines. The craft could never have had enough fuel to get back to the Somali coast irrespective .- so in a sense , it is a suicide mission.They either succeed and capture their target or they risk being adrift without power ,or water . It would be highly unlikely that they would survive for long from heat exposure or dehydration.
The attack itself seems relatively a breeze for the pirates who are able to hook an extended ladder from a light craft on to this ship , whose deck would be 40 feet above the water.
Despite the captains scrutiny of the locks to the bridge the pirates shoot these off with their AK 47s .the captain has ordered all crew down into the engine room which is 4 /5 decks below.
Philips has made contact with a US patrol ship just before the pirates have boarded , having tried to dupe the invaders that help was only hour away . But this clumsy bluff doesn’t work.
Now the question of the ransom . Philips immediately confesses to having $ 700000 in the safe and tries to persuade them to take this and break. No . the pirates want ‘’a million’’ .
The pirates demand to see the rest of the crew .. There is a lot of up-front violence here , and the savagery of the pirates is more convincing than any karate or kung –foo fights you see so regularly. These punches hurt.
There follows a search of the ship , and again despite the bluff by Philips we end up in the wheel house . Here the movie stalls and you realise that the tension in your back from the gripping sequences , is so realistic.
Meanwhile the patrol vessel has sought advise from Washington . 2 others war ships are now steaming toward the stricken ship.
Philips is taken hostage and the pirates leave the ship in a powered lifeboat , which has enough fuel to make the Somali coast. The in- cabin sequences show Hanks at his best using every emotion on a face you feel is destined to die .
All of what follows is for real. Daylight - and the ship is surrounded by an aircraft carrier and two battleships ..The navy seals have been deployed . Their presence is almost invisible . and their actions are orderly , unhurried and just nonchalant . They are seen loading their high powered rifles and we see them heading down to the stern of the ship. They have orders to shoot to kill. Again the tension picks up like a train out of control screeching down the tracks .The seals wait until they have 3 pirates in their crosshairs. They are given a casual but swift order to shoot from their commander aboard the ship.
A volley of shots and three pirates lie dead in the hold of the lifeboat. – this much was verified by a subsequent post mortem which found that each had been killed with a shot straight through the head.
Hanks is powerful in these final scenes in which he utters a mumble of confused words.
He looks as if he’s gone off script and has forgotten his lines .. so masterly does he portray a man whose spent 24 hours facing an imminent and brutal death any minute . This comes out as he is being examined by the navy doctor. You suddenly begin to think what thus man has gone through . He can barely speak , seems totally disoriented , and he keeps you guessing what thoughts are flashing before him .

So if you are not afraid of water , and you don’t suffer from seasickness – or a heart rate of over 100 for about 120 odd minutes –and a cramp in your back from the unrelenting tension - this is the movie of the year .

Brace yourself and don't miss it


© Copyright 2020 donkylemore. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Commercial Fiction Articles