Captain Phillips – The Review

So here we go, first review on my new site and it is reserved for a film that, 2 weeks after seeing it, I am still enthralled just thinking about it.

Paul Greengrass is one of the finest directors out there, his Bourne films gave Bond the kick up the backside so sorely needed. His effort in creating the claustrophobic tension of United 93 was something that, even though you knew how it was going to end, left you tense and breathless to the very end.

So it was that when I sat down to watch the rather excellent ‘Rush’ a trailer appears showing Tom Hanks on a container ship. All looked of minimal interest until the words ‘From the director of The Bourne Supremacy and the Bourne Ultimatum’ appeared. From then I wanted to see it. And rightly so.

Avoiding too many spoilers this is a tale of Captain Richard Phillips, whose ship is boarded by 4 Somalian Pirates. Pretty soon those pirates are forced, by the crew, into a panic situation and Captain Phillips offers them an escape. However their leader, played superbly by newcomer Barkhad Abdi, ensures that the good captain is not going to get away lightly.

What then follows is a relentless, claustrophobic chase as the might of the United States Navy bear down on the pirates. It is very reminiscent of the work on United 93 and will leave you, well certainly left me, feeling almost ill whilst gripping the very edge of my seat.

I have always enjoyed Tom Hanks (yes Forrest Gump is an hour too long) and I would argue that this is his finest performance, especially the last 15 minutes of the film where all I will say is Award Material.

Greengrass would make a perfect Bond director, his films leave you fully satisfied and Captain Phillips is no exception to this. I cannot think of a film that engaged me this much in a very long time. An absolute must see at the cinema and, for me, film of 2013!


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