Though Director Paul Greengrass’s Captain Phillips has a slow build, once the Somali pirates appear on the scene, the action moves into full throttle and never stops.
But, this is not just an action film, it is a thoughtful struggle of wills between men of different cultures.
Tom Hanks plays Captain Phillips, who is in charge of the enormous NV Maersk Alabama cargo ship hijacked off the coast of Somalia by four young men, looking to get rich with a ransom payoff.
When things go awry, the pirates kidnap Phillips and head for land in a life craft.
Thanks to Hanks’ usually excellent acting skills and those of inspired newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who deserves a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as the wily captain of the pirates, Billy Ray’s fine script is a master chess game for survival.
I give Captain Phillips a 4 out of 5.