Google+

Somali Pirates Hold Captain Hostage in Navy SEAL Rescue Thriller

 

Captain Phillips

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

On April 9, 2009, the Maersk Alabama, an American container ship headed for Mombasa, Kenya, was hijacked on the high seas in an area that had become very popular with Somali pirates preying on international commerce. Despite having recently practiced evasive maneuvers in the event of just such an attack, the vessel’s 20-man crew’s flare gun and fire hoses proved no match for the fearless, heavily-armed quartet high on an herbal stimulant called chat.

102715_galAfter climbing aboard, the drug-emboldened buccaneers abandoned the idea of commandeering the cumbersome, 500+ foot-long craft carrying 17,000 metric tons of cargo, since all they were really after was a multimillion-dollar ransom. Instead, they opted to take Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) hostage on one of his own lifeboats as a very valuable bargaining chip.

However, when their demands fell on deaf ears, a standoff ensued in the middle of the ocean. Soon, a destroyer stationed near the Gulf of Aden, the USS Bainbridge, was dispatched to the scene, and its Captain, Frank Castellano (Yul Vasquez), feigned negotiating while simultaneously securing permission from President Obama to hatch a daring rescue plan.

Directed by Paul Greengrass (United 93), Captain Phillips is certain to invite comparison to the somewhat similarly-plotted Zero Dark Thirty, given how both recount a real-life mission mounted by a crack team of Navy SEALs. The difference, however, is that this adventure amounts to little more than a high-anxiety orgy of worry unfolding from the perspective of the imperiled kidnap victim, while the relatively-cerebral Zero Dark Thirty devoted most of its attention to delineating the intricate details involved in the complicated manhunt for Osama bin Laden.

Curiously, this movie repeatedly makes the presumably politically-correct point of reminding us that these madmen are not Muslim 106673_galterrorists, but without offering much of a hint as to their motivations besides money. Nevertheless, Tom Hanks does bring his A-game here, even if he’s cooped-up in close quarters acting opposite a B-support cast (Barkhad Abdirahaman, Mahat M. Ali, Barkhad Abdi and Faysal Ahmed) for the bulk of the picture.

Unfortunately, his one-note abductors are painted as soulless, primitive natives right out of a typical Tarzan flick. Sure, the bloodlust payoff is bigger when the bad guys are the frightening embodiment of pure evil with no redeeming qualities. Yet, this production would’ve benefited immeasurably from just a little development of the villains’ characters.

Shades of Cast Away (2000), with Tom Hanks being tortured by sadists as opposed to talking to a volleyball for over an hour while waiting for the cavalry to arrive.

 

Very Good (3 stars)

PG-13 for intense violence, sustained terror, bloody images and drug abuse In English and Somali with subtitles

Running time: 134 minutes

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Source: Baret News Wire

 

 

 

Entertainment

Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video

  Chips DVD Review by Kam Williams Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff trading in familiar … [Read More its Good For You...]

Books

Author Expounds on Labor of Love

  Peter Brav The “331 Innings” Interview with Kam Williams Author Expounds on Labor of Love Peter Brav is not much of a baseball player but he's written three novels where the diamond provides a setting for triumph over adversity in one way or another. Sneaking In (set during the 1999 Yankees championship season), The Other Side Of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of. I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is […]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Ejogo’s Largo!

  Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Jerkbaits Often Overlooked as Summer Bass Lures

  Jerkbaits Often Overlooked as Summer Bass Lures   Yamaha Pro Brandon Palaniuk Fishes Jerkbaits Year-Round for Quality Bass Bass tournament fishermen are famous for having “secret” lures they don’t tell anyone about, but Brandon … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and … [Read More its Good for You...]