Movie Review: Captain Phillips ***

movie captain phillips

Captain Phillips is a true story about an ocean freighter assaulted by modern day pirates. Tom Hanks plays the lead role of a ship’s captain who is assigned a job to pilot a boat loaded with containers around the tip of Africa. The pirate infested waters make this a more dangerous job than normal. Security drills have become a necessary part of seamanship. Procedures are developed and rehearsed to ensure the safety of the vessel and its crew.

In Somalia, fishermen are recruited to assault, hijack, and take ransom on ships and their crew. The increased sea traffic has been accused of causing a disruption in the fishing business. Millions of dollars in ransom is the retribution that must be paid for the economic devastation to fishermen caused by the increased traffic in the shipping lanes. Lone ships are singled out of the herd. They are assaulted and boarded. Hostages are taken to land and held for ransom.

This very real scenario is depicted quite well in the movie. The captain and crew are just doing the jobs they were hired to do. The fishermen’s livelihood have been affected by the freighters. The only solution appears to be hijacking and ransom. The crew did not sign up to be combatants and are ill-trained to take on pirates. The pirates are motivated by pressure from their bosses to do whatever is necessary to take control of another ship. The hijacking is the easy part. Getting paid is the hard part. Captain Phillips must protect his crew using non-violence against armed ruthless pirates. Help is far away. So it is a race to the coast between the hijackers and the Navy rescue ships.

It is interesting to see the tactical maneuvers that are taken by a big boat to slow down the smaller and faster pirate boats. Cooperation mixed with trickery is used to slow down the progress of the assault. Negotiation, trust, and deceit are tools that are used to get to the final resolution. A good story with good acting. 3 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on November 20, 2013 at 10:56 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. The movie is extremely well made, the actors are very authentic in their roles.

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