Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, an American container ship bringing supplies to Mombasa, Kenya, when it is approached by Somali pirates. The pirates, led by Muse (Markhad Abdi), hijack the ship and Captain Phillips must do whatever he can protect the rest of his crew, even if that means putting his own life on the line.
Normally I don’t care too much for biopics, they aren’t that exciting to me. But Captain Phillips is different; I actually found it pretty exciting and suspenseful. Hanks was fantastic as the titular character, and is probably my new favorite non-Toy Story role of his. For their first movie, Abdi and Barkhad Abdirahman were surprising stars. Abdirahman plays Bilal, the hot-tempered pirate in Muse’s crew, and showed great intensity that made me feel like he could honestly lose it any moment. The sound and lighting really contributed to the suspense, particularly during the scene where the pirates are searching the ship. This film had a lot of tight camera angles that I didn’t care for. I understand that most of the movie takes place in corridors or tight spaces, but these shots occurred outside of those environments. A dramatic close-up every now and then in a film is fine, but the amount of close-ups here seemed a bit excessive. Although it may run a little longer than necessary, great leads and excellent lighting and sound make Captain Phillips a surprisingly intense biopic that I found myself getting in to.