A typical and yet again solid Paul Greengrass movie, that's taking an hyper realistic and intense approach to a true story.

I'll admit that the story is not as 'grand' and historically important as lets say that of "United 93" and "Bloody Sunday" but that doesn't matter for Greengrass. He directs the movie with the same intensity and eye for detail and successfully manages to turn this movie into an almost constantly tense and engaging one. And really, it's mostly due to its directing approach that this movie works out as well as it does. Greengrass has the talent to grab the viewers and make them feel as a part of the movie, by the way he handles the camera and builds up the story and tension, in a slow but steadily and realistic manner.

I'll also have to admit though that I hope Greengrass is going to direct some different type of dramas as well in the future. Because he always uses to same approach, things tend to feel a bit gimmicky as well at times, of course especially when you have seen most of Greengrass' movies already.

Another small problem I had with this movie was because it's based on a true story, you already know the outcome as well. It kind of took away some of the tension toward the end for me.

Thing I really liked about the movie though is that it doesn't glorify anyone but it also doesn't ever really villainize anybody. It feels like a very honest, open-minded, movie and therefore also a truly realistic one, even though of course this movie took some liberties with the truth. But I never really have any problems with this, as long as it isn't taking anything away from the true story that it's based on and the changes are all there to significantly help the movie and are there for the good of it, which also all is the case for this particular movie.

I really don't feel that captain Phillips got portrayed as an 'hero' in this but more like an ordinary guy who had to act and deal in some out of the ordinary circumstances. But I also feel that the movie is being incredibly fair and honest toward the Somali pirates. It's showing them as real human beings and not just as evil, aggressive persons, that are out for blood. By just doing and showing some small things, it's telling you a lot about the circumstances of- and motivations for its Somali characters, without ever making them TOO sympathetic by the way.

It's also great that they used some actual Somali actors for the parts. It gives the movie with some real authenticity, maybe also due to the fact that they were played by some non-professional actors. It adds to the intensity and realism of the movie. It also makes Tom Hanks' performance all the more an accomplishment. For most part of the movie he has to act with just the Somali actors and has nobody else to fall back on. He handles all of the emotions of his role very well and yet again truly becomes his character, on the screen.

A great, tense, realistic and gripping drama that grabs you and doesn't let go till the very end.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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