Trailer Tuesday: Captain Phillips

Here's the funny thing. We spend half of the year looking forward to the glut of blockbuster releases that make up the midyear/Summer movie season. But no sooner are we are a couple of months into this period than we can't wait for the generally less braindead, more thoughtful fare of the Northern Hemisphere Fall and festive season.

One late-2013 release worth mentioning now is the real-life thriller Captain Phillips, from director Paul Greengrass, the filmmaker responsible for United 93 and half of the Bourne series. Tom Hanks plays the title figure, captain of the Maersk Alabama, the first American ship to be captured by pirates in over 200 years. You can read about this little slice of naval history here, but in short, in 2009, a very brave Phillips and his crew made life very difficult for the Somali pirates who boarded their cargo vessel. Events culminated with a dramatic Navy SEAL rescue.

Love him or loathe him, Hanks can generally be relied upon for picking entertaining, engrossing and very well-made A-grade movie fare. And Greengrass certainly knows how to ratchet up the tension, bringing an engaging intimacy to the action and thrills.

For the record, Captain Phillips is based primarily on A Captain's Duty, a memoir of events written by the real Phillips. The film is likely to bend truth somewhat, but nonetheless I'm excited at the prospect of watching probably the first Hollywood release to centre on contemporary piracy... instead of the quirky and colourful, 18th Century kind.

Captain Phillips releases in North America on 11 October. The film is set to open in South Africa on 15 November.


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