Film review: Captain Phillips

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Joesph Austin reviews the multi-Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and Barkhard Abdhi.

Based on true events, Captain Phillips is the story of Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) and the crew of the hijacked Maersk Alabama cargo ship by Somali pirates in 2009.

Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips

Stranded in the ocean, Phillips and his crew find themselves at the mercy of four Somali pirates after their initial attempts to board the cargo ship are unsuccessful.

Driven by desperation, young pirate leader Muse (Barkhard Abdhi) manages to board the ship, taking Phillips hostage in the process.

With action thrillers such as the The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum and Green Zone under his belt, Paul Greengrass delivers yet another suspenseful action feature.

Also similar to his previous works, Captain Phillips is deeply-rooted in political issues and yet still maintains the emotional themes as seen in United 93 and Bloody Sunday.

The film also boasts some exceptional acting performances from both Hanks and newcomer Abdhi.

At his most captivating since Cast Away, Hanks delivers a performance as Captain Richard Phillips that must have only narrowly missed out on an Oscar nomination for best actor in a leading role.

Greengrass gives Hanks the opportunity to showcase his immense talent in portraying a somewhat authoritative yet vulnerable character, similar to his roles in Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile.

Abdi, Oscar nominated for best actor in a supporting role, gives an excellent and intense debut performance as Muse, the desperate Somali pirate who, as the film progresses, can be seen to be as much a victim of circumstance as anything.

In the hands of a more spectacle-driven director (Michael Bay springs to mind), Captain Phillips might have easily been the new Under Siege.

But, thankfully, Greengrass has produced a truly poignant film; thrilling, thematically complex, and expertly executed.

Captain Phillips is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture and is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

See the full list of Oscar nominees here.