Captain Phillips Review

I'M NOT DEAD!
I realised that after setting this blog up, I did disappear into the abyss, but now I am back and ready to complain about everything once more; however, due to the fact that I did get overly excited over the fact that I now had time to blog, I forgot to actually write a new blog or review, so this one is kind of recycled from either college work or previous blogs...oops.
There will be an actual new review soon, but currently, I'm hungover and just want to curl up into a ball and sleep, so yeah, just appreciate my effort anyway...

Captain Phillips Review
Based on a terrifying, true story, Captain Phillips explores the life Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) during his traumatic ordeal when his cargo boat is hijacked by a gang of Somali pirates. As a passionate hater of Tom Hanks, I was reluctant to even watch this film in the first place; however, I must admit that it was somewhat interesting and enjoyable.
Although the beginning of the film did feel as though it dragged on a bit, the action soon began to start, allowing the audience to be captivated within the scenes, at least until the somewhat clumsy camerawork distracts you and pulls you right back into reality once more. Usually, I wouldn’t feel the need to comment on the camera work or the continuity of the editing; however, within this film, particularly the scene where the pirates (who don’t look anything like Johnny Depp!) are coming after the cargo ship. Even the edit to make it look as though the audience are looking through the binoculars seemed like an amateur move, purely because it wasn’t pulled off well in my opinion. The worst of them all does, however, have to be nearer the end of the film where the camera is literally just dropped into the water, which could have looked decent, if it wasn’t then for all the water remaining on the lens, which then instantly broke the verisimilitude. My only advice for this issue is, either do the whole film in a ‘found footage’ style, or stick to using the usual shots and edits instead of distracting the audience by using a mishmash of both. I am in no way a hater of elliptical editing, but I just felt as though it was accidental and didn’t add anything to the plot.
                Other than the camera work and the occasional event which forced you to say “that can’t be real!”, some elements of the film did seem particularly well thought through, the main one being the pirate’s aim when shooting. I know it sounds like an odd thing to pick up on, but so many films make it so that the aim of all the characters is completely off, whereas in Captain Phillips, the pirates, who obviously would’ve handled guns before, actually had a decent aim. Even though they obviously didn’t hit Phillips, the shots were so close that I still felt on edge, even though I knew what happens because I remember the coverage in the news. On top of this, some of the reactions seemed spot on for someone in a real life situation; however, I must admit that I was still disappointed by Tom Hank’s performance.
                Although this may appear to be a somewhat biased judgement due to my pre-existing judgement on Tom Hank’s as a performer, like all his other roles, I felt as though he was his usual wooden and un-emotional character, even at the part of the films that required a strong reaction from his character. At gun point, he portrayed his character as completely calm, not even displaying an ounce fear (which could’ve been a true reflection of the actual event, but surely even the bravest of person will tense up slightly?), and even his strong emotional reaction at the end of the film, which I was impressed by, was ruined due to an unusual lack of tears. I felt as though his role as “the star” of the film was completely taken over by the actors who played the pirates, (Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali), who’s performances were faultless. Each portrayed such a realistic level of aggression and power throughout, thus making the realistic event behind the movie, really hit home.

                So, if we put the wooden acting and crappy camerawork a side, the film as a whole was somewhat enjoyable. I tend to dislike long films; however, once we have gotten past the first 20 minutes, the action within the story starts to kick in and speed the whole thing up a bit. 

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