Tom Hanks seems perfectly cast as Richard Phillips, the captain of the pirated freighter Maersk Alabama. The first trailer for the new movie about Phillips’ harrowing brush with Somali pirates looks tightly wound and dramatically presented.
Like all movies based on true events, the outcome of “Captain Phillips” is already known. So the story basically comes down to the telling.
It’s impossible to judge from the trailer how much liberty Director Paul Greengrass takes to hype up the drama, but he knows how to make the most out of the cat and mouse game that took place on the ship. His previous movies include the fast-paced and tightly woven “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
The Maersk Alabama became the first U.S. flagged ship hijacked since the days of the Barbary pirates operating out of ports in Tunis, Tripoli and Algiers in what is modern-day Algeria. The 2009 incident ended with a dramatic incursion by Navy seals.
The new trailer sets the tone right off the bat as Hanks, at the ship’s helm, notices the approach of two small vessels in the middle of an isolated stretch of sea. “I don’t like the looks of that,” he says to a shipmate in classic understatement.
The scene is a tension-builder as the tiny white blips move closer and it slowly dawns on Phillips that his ship is about to come under assault by pirates.
He radios authorities to report the situation, but gets a nonchalant reply. “Chances are they’re fishermen,” says the cool, collected voice.
“They’re not here to fish,” Phillips replies, the tension audible in his voice. The crew does the best it can to fight off the intruders with the ship’s fire hoses. But they manage to scale the side and land on deck.
The attack finally provokes a response in Washington, and the Navy is ordered to rescue the ship. Check out the clip below. The movie hits theaters in Oct 11.