Harry Hamm

harry star 4stars Tom Hanks Beats the Pirates Too!

As is often the case when Hollywood tackles a “true” story, someone comes forward trying to debunk it. In the case of “Captain Phillips,” some crew members has given interviews saying the real Phillips wasn’t liked or respected by the crew and that he did not mastermind the ship’s answer to the pirates hijacking. Whether that’s correct or not, what is depicted in the film is engaging and very concentrated. It’s even a little patriotic as the U.S. Navy comes forward to save the day.

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Photo Courtesy of IMDB

All the events in this film took place in 2009 when the M/V Maersk Alabama, a ship that was registered in the United States, was boarded in open seas by Somali pirates who took over the ship and demanded millions in ransom for the Captain. It was the first American cargo vessel to be hijacked in over 200 years and became a major diplomatic event, heavily involving the White House and forces from The United States Navy.

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Photo Courtesy if IMDB

A major element I found very interesting is how the film details just who the pirates are, and how & why these men were, in many respects, forced into the hijacking businesses by War Lords in the villages where they lived. It gives an entirely new perspective to the whole phenomenon. The lead hijacker, called Muse, is played by an actor named Barkhad  Abdi, evidently in his first professional role. He is very effective and believable. A detailed, significant picture is painted about the difference between the pirates and the crew of the ship. It is a fascinating contrast.

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Photo Courtesy of IMDB

Director Paul Greengrass keeps this movie very realistic and moving at a frantic pace. The electronic music score is a good, throbbing accent.

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Photo Courtesy of IMDB

Tom Hanks is supremely authentic as a seagoing Captain trying to save lives and his ship. The finale of this film truly keeps you on the edge of your seat. Set sail to see “Captain Phillips.” You’ll be glad you did.



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