Jim's Review of Captain Phillips

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ages 14+ | Worth Your Time

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The film was well-made, well-paced, and well-acted, but I still have a bone to pick with it. One thing that makers of movies based of current events should vigilantly strive to maintain is credibility. The movie is better when you believe it. You want to believe that what you are seeing on screen is not far off from what it would be like to actually witness the event. The filmmakers' task is to walk the delicate tightrope of making us believe their version of the story while giving it cinematic flare. (If you want to see a movie that does this perfectly, watch "The Saratov Approach" by Garrett Batty.) For the most part, "Captain Phillips" does this pretty well, but there are some ways in which it sacrifices believability for the sake of drama. SPOILER ALERT: The most egregious example comes at the climax of the film when all 3 targets happen to go green for the Navy Seals at the exact same time the pirates decide to execute Captain Phillips. Even in fictional stories we all roll our eyes when the time bomb is disarmed when the timer is at :01 seconds. Another problem with this portrayal of Captain Phillips's story is that you get the sense that you are being sold an idealized version of him. I mean, why was this guy sailing through pirate infested waters so close to the Somali coast? Why was he so eager to sacrifice himself for his brand new crew? These questions led me to a quick search on the internet which put a lot of what he did in the film further into question. If there is one thing you can learn from this movie, it's that if there is one thing in this world that you don't want after you, it's a Navy Seal. Those guys are like the death eaters of the muggle world.
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Okfor ages12+