Captain Phillips (2013)
Captain Phillips shows us primitive, aggressive Somalis and badass Americans saving the day in overkill fashion − for the greater good, ostensibly. And sadly this all probably isn't very far away from how things have become in some parts of this petty planet. In other words, this is a film about cynics in every respect, relieved by the goodness and heroics of the title character, who − with all due respect − seems to have been subjected to a little overdose of hero-worship by director Paul Greengrass. Other than showing off his captain, however, I'm not quite sure what Greengrass wants to do here. A fine matter-of-factly opening turns into an intense and interesting middle-part (even if the cameramen seem at least as shaken as the ship's crew by what's going on), before we get treated to an overflow of good captain, inept pirates, and overpowering American forces in a protracted finale which runs out of steam well before the end. The film wants to be full of message, alternating between applauding and denouncing the old US of A, but ends up being too much all over the place. Still, there's fine acting and quite a bit of tension all the way through, for those who enjoy old-fashioned action formulaics.