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Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips

USA 2013 - mit Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson ...

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Originaltitel:Captain Phillips
Genre:Drama, Thriller
Regie:Paul Greengrass
Produktionsland:USA 2013
Laufzeit:Ca. 134 Min.
FSK:From 12 years
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When the American container ship "Maersk Alabama" was attacked by a group of Somali pirates in 2009 and its captain Richard Phillips taken hostage, it was of course a big event in the worldwide media. When Phillips could also be freed from the NavySEALs, the hero story was perfect. The misery that drove the Somali pirates to take action and the horror that Phillips and his crew members had to endure quickly became the backdrop of media interest. Now director Paul Greengrass tries to trace the events beyond the patriotic hero worship in his proven sober, almost documentary way, and also to trace the motives of the Somalis, of course without morally apologizing for them. He succeeds very well almost to the finale and makes sure that "Captain Phillips" has become an extremely intense, extremely thrilling thriller.

The play of Phillips is by Tom Hanks, who delivers one of the best performances of his career, which is already full of highlights. He does not play the captain as a heroic super-human, whose fear or helplessness would not be noticeable. Rather, Hanks embodies a deeply human character who tries to maintain control over an inherently uncontrollable situation so that no one in his crew is harmed. Opposite him stands the young Somali Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who absolutely wants to prove himself as a strong, superior man and for whom giving up without a ransom payment is out of the question. A gruelling psychological duel develops between the two completely different men, which can only end in a catastrophe - for whichever side…

"Captain Phillips" is one of those films in which it doesn't matter at all that the story is already known and its end is clear from the beginning. Because of the intensive play of the actors and the staging style of Greengrass, the viewer is integrated into the action in such a way that the film becomes an enormously gripping, nerve-racking experience. The jigsaw camera style that Greengrass loves to celebrate has been somewhat overused in recent years. Sometimes you get the feeling that some filmmakers believe that their film is more demanding if the camera is constantly in motion - which is clearly not the case. But with Greengrass, things are a little different. The British filmmaker is an absolute perfectionist in whom every camera movement, every seemingly trivial element, every movement of his portrayal has a meaning. For him, the camera is more than just a window through which the viewer can look in and follow the story. For him, it is rather a door that he opens with all his might and pulls the viewer directly into the film.

What intensive effect this can have, he has already shown with "Flight 93". "Captain Phillips" is the logical continuation of this stylistic device. Greengrass manages to get the viewer thrown out of the safety of the cinema chair and feels as if he is on the hijacked ship with Richard Phillips. And on this starting situation the director can build up an incredibly dense tension scaffolding that is beyond any previous knowledge of the story's outcome.

The fact that he not only degrades the pirates to one-dimensional villains, but also tries to make it clear to the viewer what drives a person to commit such an act of desperation, Greengrass and his screenwriter Billy Ray deserve special credit. However, even the director's efforts to create a balanced picture can't prevent the film's finale from having a bit of a hymn of praise for the American military - even though one shouldn't imagine anything about defeating a few Somali pirates in a mini lifeboat with three big destroyers and a trained NavySEALS team. But even if the ending isn't one of the strongest moments of the movie, "Captain Phillips" has become a great, incredibly thrilling movie, that not only challenges the viewer nervously, but also makes him think. Entertainment cinema with a lot of depth that allows only one judgement: absolutely worth seeing!

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