Tom Hanks stars as the eponymous captain Richard Phillips in this based on real events thriller, set in the waters off the horn of Africa as his large cargo vessel is beset by Somali pirates. The events took place in 2009, and although the film is engrossing and recommendable with a good leading performance from Hanks, much controversy has been caused by the depiction of his heroic efforts in the movie. In real life the captain seems to have a lot of questions to answer – with various crew members, who are suing the company they worked for, claiming he had something of a death wish, didn’t try to hide the crew as shown in the film, and sailed the ship unnecessarily close, in the region of three hundred kilometers too close, to the Somali coastline despite knowledge of several attacks on cargo vessels in the three weeks prior to their voyage.
Notwithstanding this disappointing information the film is still definitely worth a look in with a realistic and sustained feeling of suspense throughout – and the brave efforts of chief engineer Mike Perry are related to us just as they occurred in real life. With Hanks’ domineering popularity with movie goers and industry insiders alike (he was recently voted America’s most trustworthy person) perhaps together with the misfortune of being recently diagnosed with diabetes, it is quite likely this will garner him another Academy Award nomination next year. One by no means undeserved. From director Paul Greengrass (‘The Bourne Supremacy’ 04, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ 07, ‘Green Zone’ 10).