Tom Hanks is back and better than ever! The two-time Oscar winner packs an accolade-worthy performance in his role portraying Captain Richard Phillips in the biopic Captain Phillips (click video at left for trailer).
The film is based on the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somalis, SEALs, and a Dangerous Day at Sea”, recounting his personal experience as the commanding officer of unarmed American cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama when it was hijacked by armed Somali Pirates in 2009.
The film opens by introducing the audience to Richard Phillips (Hanks), who lives in Vermont and appears to be your “everyday Joe”. He’s preparing to leave his family to captain the MV Maersk Alabama around the Horn of Africa.
Once Phillips is aboard the Alabama and settling in, it becomes clear that there are a number of unfamiliar crew members he’ll be managing and the ship is partially filled with food aid for its journey half way around the world. Phillips reads a memo advising about piracy threats and decides to have his crew run through some drills as a precautionary measure.
While running through their drills, they see two skiffs approaching, with armed men. Through some clever tactics, the Alabama’s crew is fortunate enough to drive them both away. But not for long.
Click on the slideshow to the left for production photos & stills from 'Captain Phillips'
The tension filled story unfolds as Phillips and his crew react to the hijacking and try to reason with the pirates and get them off the ship with no one harmed.
Captain Phillips tells a fascinating story of control held and lost, desperation, financial disparity, and how individuals from different worlds struggle to survive. Its strength is at the core, a story with multi-dimensional characters who embody the human spirit, brought to life by powerful and compelling performances by the actors who play them.
Bringing a lens to timely, relevant, transnational issues, director Paul Greengrass, who has excelled in documentary filmmaking and fast-paced thrillers such as The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy brings both of these strengths to the docudrama that is Captain Phillips. It action-packed, thrilling, and relentless in its efforts of authenticity. It is indeed a film not to be missed.
Illinois Connection: Tom Hanks has a brother that’s a professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL. Also, in this Land of Lincoln, it’s interesting to note that Hanks is a third cousin, four generations removed, of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
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