I’m going to start this review by talking about Tom Hanks’ nipples. You can scour the web, and not find a Captain Phillips lead that is as great as the one I’ve put before you. You’re in uncharted territory here, folks. Let’s set the scene. Tom Hanks has been through some shit, he’s been in the cold oceanic water off the coast of the African horn. Trials and tribulations would be an understatement. In shock he’s immediately summoned to the medical ward to be checked over for wounds and general level-headiness. Hanks acts the all living hell out of this scene, his acting triumph in the movie that all by itself probably gets him an Oscar nod. He’s in shock, freezing, terrified, hardly aware of his surroundings, a shell of a broken down man who’s been through too much for a human brain to quantify. It’s a wondrous piece of acting that makes this whole film watching thing pretty awesome sometimes. All this great stuff is happening and all I can focus on is shirtless Tom Hanks’ nipples. I mean these things are rock hard, like jub jub candies or something to that effect, also remember that I’m seeing this in the theatres, sitting in the second row, I might as well be in IMAX. These nipples wouldn’t just cut glass, they’d shatter it on first sight of these brown mountains. It’s nice to know I’m so immature that these weird, insane things still stick out to me, but, hey, what’s up with Tom Hanks’ nipples so aggressively and scene-distractingly hard when he was acting so amazingly? Anyways, that was my paragraph on Tom Hanks’ nipples, I never thought that’d be something I’d write about, and now you all think I’m an insane weirdo…..
I really wanted this film to be this year’s Flight. An A-list actor (Washington, Hanks) teams up with a pretty good director (Zemeckis, Greengrass) in a actiony, but mostly serious film that’s basically just a showcase for their acting skills, and turns out to be pretty good. I loved Flight and pretty much everything in it and here I liked Hanks, and well… I knew what I was getting into with Captain Phillips (unlike Flight), and really that’s exactly what I got. Somali pirates takeover a freighter ship, and eventually Hanks. It never explores anything further than that, like Flight did with Washington’s alcoholism, his deteriorating relationships and fight for physical and mental survival. Captain Phillips is just a run-of-the-mill check all the boxes, I don’t even know what to call it? Thriller, not really. Action, some but not full out. The acting is what keeps it from sinking into something sub-average, with Hanks being standout and the Somali actors being incredibility believable and disheartening at times.
This is actually the perfect film for Greengrass’ much-maligned (right, people kinda don’t like all the jerkiness, I can never remember which side people mainly fall on, because I’m a fan) hand-held camera style that became so famous with the Bourne movies and also the fantastic United 93. No better place for off-kilter, shaky camera moves to be utilizing than a film that takes place on the ocean for 90% of the time. If nothing else, it fits the mood, and leans to the uneasiness of everything that slowly unravels. It’s also insanely awesome that they hired the so, so awesom Catherine Keener to play Hanks’ wife and she’s literally only in the movie for five minutes at the beginning, and contributes nothing to the plot except to drive the car home from the airport that they arrived in. I kinda like to think that they were greatly under budget, so they reshot the openining scenes with said actress Catherine Keener in order to pay her her much higher salary being that she’s a relative name actress. Or else, they just love Catherine Keener so much that she had to be in the movie no matter what, and who am I to judge that More Keener the better is what I always say.
So, hey, I was kinda disappointed with the film, because I got what I expected? Yeah, it was nothing really above an average thriller, outisde of Hanks and other performances, that we’ve all seen before. Nothing went above and beyond in my eyes, falling this film into average territory as a whole. Frankly, I’m quite surprised that the film is at a 94% rate on Rotten Tomatoes, which is kind of insane. It’s basically a movie you come to just for the Tom Hanks performance. Average is average, but have Tom Hanks acting his nipples off and you get a little more attention.