Captain Phillips is a true story about the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama en route from Oman to Mombasa, Kenya by a crew of Somali pirates. The botch-up hijacking resulted in the kidnapping for ransom of the container ship captain. The movie is based on the memoir of the real Captain Richard Phillips.
The film focuses on the relationship between the Captain Richard Phillips, the Alabama’s commanding officer and Muse the Somali pirate captain, who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the coast of Somalia. Phillips was kidnapped aboard a high-tech lifeboat bound for the Somali coast with the US Navy and a SEAL team in pursuit. Both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
The movie is a high tension theatrics but it is not as politicized like most movies of its genre. It has political undertones but not the “in your face” kind. It is graphically startling but not the “Pulp Fiction” type; there are graphic and violent scenes but these violent and graphic scenes are needed and justified to be there. The hostage situations are so real.
Captain Phillips is very well written, acted and with brilliant cinematography. This is how a good movie should be. The only negative thing is the lack of character development of the main characters, the movie rushed into the hostage drama without developing the characters.