Captain Phillips

October 11, 2013

This Tom Hanks vehicle is pretty much an accurate account of the piracy incident off Somalia in April ’09 where Navy Seals were called in to terminate the situation.  Well put together for the most part, and Hanks turns in his usual competent, sympathetic performance. 

Phillips’s ship was taken by pirates and he was taken hostage on a lifeboat.  Fortunately for him and his crew they were Somali pirates.  Somalians hold their hostages for ransom, then release them.  In Nigeria, another problem area, hostages are murdered and the cargo sold off.

I wondered why such a large ship could be taken over by men in glorified skiffs.  The answer was they were forbidden to carry weapons.  That has changed.  Ships may, and I presume do, carry arms, which should be sufficient to repel such attacks.

One thing of interest that is brought out, and fact checks out, is that foreign fishing vessels have decimated the once fertile fishing grounds off Somalia causing the native population to seek other means of making a living, however ignoble those means may be.

Good movie;  fairly close to the actual facts.  Recommended.