I Rate That: Captain Phillips.

Hanks shirtless and sporting a beard as Captain Phillips

Hanks shirtless and sporting a beard as Captain Phillips

Yes, I recently watched the latest, and most unexpected, installment of The Pirates of The Caribbean Sega. It is a modern day re-imagining of the Disney classic that follows a hilariously curmudgeon Sea-captain on his voyage in search of the legendary ‘Horn of Africa,’ which once played, will grant the musician a shit-ton of cash. Innovative and fresh, the new timeframe in which the film is set (2009) may indicate that the golden age of piracy has finally rusted and that these slapstick tales of pirate-pillaging need a newer domain. In a sense, it is comparable to the Call of Duty franchise; Modern Warfare was introduced because history gets boring after a while.

Unfortunately for some, it does seem as though Peter Greengrocer has put the final nail into Captain Jack Sparrow’s coffin by replacing him with the more mature Captain Phillips, who despite being less of an on-screen heartthrob, is played by notorious gambler Tom Hanks. Unlike Depp’s role, Hanks has gone for a very reserved approach to acting which may be either a God-send or risky business for the seafaring franchise. After POC: On Stranger Tides, the series was heading into choppy waters but I think that this altered perspective of comic piracy is now steering clear of the storm. Naturally many critics were skeptical of the drastic style divergence from the previous movies, particularly with Depp being swapped for Hanks. But the latest sequence of the James Bond menagerie acts as testament to the idea that change is ultimately good. After all, Daniel Craig has acted as a much needed breath-mint for the halitosis infection that was threatening the franchise with obscurity. Also, the cast (or crew) of POC: Captain Phillips still bang out the one-liners with sword-striking precision as has become expected of the film’s typesters and will have you chuckling at the shear lunacy unfolding on screen.

Now, it’s fair to say that Hanks and the ocean don’t really mix. We’ve seen before how the sea makes him go an utter mental-case and causes him to fabricate makeshift lovers out of volleyballs, (rumour has it that Warner bros. have finally bought the rights to a “Wilson” spinoff series which will focus on his exploits as he travels to Ankara for the CEV championships.) But in the case of Captain Phil, he is master of the waves and always manages a butt-clenching escape from anything the bad guys throw at him. Barkhad Abdi plays opposite Hanks as the lovable rogue ‘Muse,’ who is the leader of the ragtag band of pirates who share the endeavor to snatch the mythical horn. I did find his performance reminiscent of Captain Barbosa, which I’m sure would have served as inspiration for the character; Jeffrey Rush’s portrayal as the antagonist is obviously a hard act to follow. But Abdi is one mean motherfucker as far as acting is concerned. Delivering a bulletproof persona, he will have you crying, almost as much as he’ll have you smiling. There is definite potential in this man’s sea-shantying career.

Like any ground breaking pirate fantasy adventure, the film is not devoid of its share of controversy. Namely, from a feminist standpoint the film is devoid of almost all womenkind. Needless to say Captain Phillips fails the Bechdel test, and the few women that are included tend to be right whiners. Unfortunately, it’s a film not watched one-handed, if you know what I mean. Utter lack of tits, and not even a tasteful shower scene with a bit of side-bum. If raunchy is what you’re after try either Wolf of Wall Street or American Shuffle.

Overall, this movie is a delight to behold (I would recommend it solely for the last twenty minutes where Hanks does this shtick where he’s all shocked and confused; it’s textbook Chaplin). Captain Phillips is a classic adventure caper for the whole family. I would give it 4.3/5 wooden legs. Y’arrr Me Hearties.. Arrr.


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