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Captain Phillips

Directed by Paul Greengrass

USA, 2013

Cornerhouse, 19 October 2013

Captain Phillips

As action-adventure movies go, this is a superior example of the genre, a modern tale of piracy on the high seas.

The action is relentless, the suspense sustained right up to the end, and both Tom Hanks (the Cap’n) and Barkhad Abdi (his nemesis, the Long John Silver figure) delivery classy, nuanced performances.

If you are considering messing with the USA or American citizens working abroad, think again.  That’s a major subtext.  The film is on one level a display of America’s military might and technological power.  Towards the end, in actual fact, it is the efficiency and ultra-professionalism of the Navy SEALs that takes centre stage.  These guys live by the motto, The only easy day was yesterday, which is fearsome enough.  You’d be well advised to beware, leave well alone.

Captain Phillips is a gripping drama.