Zowie!  Tom Hanks plays Captain Rich Phillips in what is definitely my favourite film of the year to date.  

 The fact that this is a true story, and based on a book by Captain Phillips, rather gives the game away that ‘things will be alright in the end’, but – boy oh boy – what a roller-coaster of a ride in between.

Hanks is superb as the ageing, somewhat flabby-round-the-middle titular supertanker Captain, who whilst taking an otherwise ordinary freight route between Oman and Mombasa runs directly into a hijack situation with Somali pirates.  The previews give the game away that the pirates are successful in boarding the ship, and all seems set for a sort of ‘Die Hard Afloat’ – – but that is far from the end of the story, and to say any more about the plot would be a terrible spoiler.

 Paul Greengrass (United 93, the first two Bourne Sequels) directs with tight camera shots and a claustrophobic tension, particularly in the latter stages of the film.   Such is the power of this film, and of the supporting acting – particularly Barkhad Abdi and the supremely menacing newcomer Barkhad Abdirahman – that you are, in some way, also on the side of the Somalis in the action.  Driven by desperation they are literally caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.


But above all this is another Hanks tour de force and come the New Year the Oscar voters will surely be looking at a show-reel featuring his performance in the the final scene of the film.  Just superb.

This is a cinema experience rare in the making.  Seldom have I experienced an audience so on the edge of their seats since attending the UK premiere of ‘Alien’ in the Odeon Leicester Square!   Do not wait for this film to come on the TV:  if there is one film you should get off you’re a*** to go and see at your local multiplex, it is this one – preferably in a full auditorium on a Saturday night.  You will not be disappointed.  

Now, I don’t give 5 F’s away willy nilly…. but in this case:

Fad Rating:  FFFFF.