Captain Phillips charts the true story of Richard Phillips, Captain of the U.S flagged MV Maersk Alabama who was hijacked by Somali Pirates, the first American Cargo vessel hijacked in over 200 years.
Hanks plays Phillips in what most are saying is the role of his life and I for one have to agree. The sheer scale of this film is firstly spectacular. The opening scenes show Hanks preparing for the voyage, going through the motions of standard preparation and the journey to the airport where he meets up with his vessel & within 20 minutes we are on board and on the seas with a vigilant Philips questioning the pirate security measures, seemingly overlooked by a quite despondent crew.
Only after noticing a few small blips on the radar do the crew actually start to realise the potential danger they are in and in a brilliant first assault - the brave crew manage to fend of the Somali's - hell bent on securing the vessel for ransom.
The movie is fast paced and punchy and only half of is it aboard the Cargo ship - the final half takes place on a tiny lifeboat - launched clear of the Maersk after the crew tactically overthrown the pirates but with a fear for his life - Philips ends up aboard the escape vessel with some quite panicked but committed pirates - led fantastically by Muse (Barkhad Abdi).