This is going to sound weird, but I’ve always wondered what exactly goes on on those massive container ships going back and forth across the ocean carrying our iPads and illegal sex slaves. I mean how much work is there to do every day, really? Does the crew just play cards all day? Is there TV? Is it like being a pirate, only lazier? Because I could do that job. Anyway, Captain Phillips may not answer all those questions, but it does depict a container ship crew on a less-than-typical day, when they got boarded by Somali pirates in 2009. Based on the book by Richard Phillips, the captured captain of the Maersk Alabama – the first American cargo ship to get captured in 200 years, according to the synopsis – and directed by the Bourne series’ Paul Greengrass, it stars Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips and Johnny Depp in blackface as all of the pirates with supporting work by Hanks’ plucky first mate, a volleyball named Wilson (okay, part of that sentence may not be true). It doesn’t look all shaky-cammed to death like the Bourne movies, so at least there’s that.
Phillips is from Massachusetts, which is why Tom Hanks has a funny New England accent even though his ship is called the Alabama. Though it would be funny if he brought back his Forrest Gump accent for this.
I know the crew went through an intense ordeal and all, but am I crazy for being more curious about the Somalis than the crew of the Maersk? The Somalis make good zombie-esque villains with their super skinny bodies and round heads, but I’ve already seen Black Hawk Down, so I’m ready to see them as more than just cannon fodder. Though I’m not sure Paul Greengrass is the man for that job. And to be fair, it is a little hard to write a memoir after Navy SEALS shoot you in the face.