Wednesday, January 29, 2014
2013 #4: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
...verisimilitude that I find thrilling and immediate to experience. His latest, possibly greatest achievement, Captain Phillips, finds him working with a career-best Tom Hanks on the true story of a freight ship captain who is taken hostage by Somali pirates on the open seas. Newcomer Barkhad Abdi is terrific as Hanks’s main nemesis, projecting both desperation and anger in an extremely vivid, unpredictable performance. Ace cinematographer Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker, United 93) keeps the camera swerving and ducking and in tandem with the staccato editing patterns of Chris Rouse, the film maintains a break-neck momentum for two tight, unrelentingly tense hours. And then comes the final five minutes, with Hanks pulling out all the stops, shattering the screen in an emotional tour de force of acting – it’s not only his character’s catharsis but that of the audience, too. One of the best “ripped-from-the-headlines” thrillers of all-time, this is as crisp and clean as action filmmaking gets.