One of the difficult tasks when making a movie based on high profile events is keeping a movie interesting, especially when the audience knows the details and outcome of the story. When a story is on the news, especially in todays media, very few details are left out making it difficult.
The events of the shipping cargo captain Richard Phillips who was abducted by Somali pirates in 2009 was world wide nightly news. It had the country on the edge of their seats during the entire ordeal. Most people probably even said at one point, “This would make a good movie”. They were right! Although a key to making it a good movie would be the right people, i.e. director, screen writer and star.
To start with, the script was penned by Billy Ray who was fresh of the successful adaptation of the highly popular book, The Hunger Games. Now he was challenged with adapting another book, yet it was a true book. The detail he infused and flow he created was very well done.
Next in line would be a director. Paul Greengrass may have been the perfect choice too. He is a well respected thriller and action director. One only needs to look at his work with Matt Damon in his final 2 Bourne trilogy films as well as the lesser know yet intense military Green Zone. These great credentials aside, he has a knack for telling thrilling true life stories. He made the gut wrenching and intense true story of 9/11 high jackers in the film United 93. Having experience a good results with the two key components to make this a good film, he seemed the most natural choice.
The only piece of the puzzle left would be to find a leading man that can not only act well, but can come across as an average hard working man you feel like you could know. That ultimately left one name on the list, or at the least the most qualified to play the pat, and he took the role. Tom Hanks pulled out a great performance throughout the film and managed to give his first of 2 fantastic performances of the year (see my Saving Mr. Banks review for his other great performance).
The harrowing story of what happened to Richard Phillips was, no doubt a tough undertaking for all three.Despite what may have been difficulties, they all pulled it off and will all, hopefully, receive their due recognition come award times. That’s not to say any will win anything, but we all now know that the nomination is almost as much an award as the statue itself.
Richard Phillips ordeal was intense and rode the line between life and death the entire time. He is worthy of having it told just because of his bravery for his fellow ship workers. Phillips was not in a war or already in a hard situation, he just had a survival and protection instinct that many a grateful for.
Captain Phillips is a well constructed film that despite knowing the outcome keeps you engrossed for the entire 2 hours plus. It’s worthy of the viewers time and his time is not misspent for a minute.