The film was a heady mix of terror, sea-sickness and and a sweaty band of pirates. Tom Hanks is the eponymous Captain Phillips, who sets off in a freight ship through waters which he knows are fraught with pirates. He's not particularly nice to his crew but he's thorough in checking his boat - they do the classic thing of doing a drill in which imaginary pirates board the ship. Then...hold on, what is that in the distance? A boat? A pirate boat? Then, "This is not a drill. Somali pirates are trying to board this ship". Ah.
Tom Hanks has been in so many wonderful films that people take ages to pick a favourite. I don't know if Captain Phillips will be one of those much loved films, which will grace DVD shelves for years to come but that's purely because it's such a difficult and traumatic watch. Paul Greengrass (the dishevelled and charming director of a couple of the Bourne films, so no stranger to suspense and tension) shows no mercy, involving the audience almost as if they are one of the ship's crew. Maybe pop a couple of sea-sickness tablets before you see this film and for God's sake, don't forget the tissues (not like that, you dirty minded individuals).
Hanks' portrayal of a man in shock is heartbreaking and astounding. Even though the film is based on the memoirs of actual Captain Phillips, which is a spoiler in itself, I genuinely had no idea what was going to happen. I don't think I actually enjoyed the film, you just couldn't. But I was swept away in the danger and the uncertainty. I came out of the cinema sobbing and had to actually go and splash water on my face as if I was in a Judy Blume novel, until I calmed down. I love that Hanks can keep surprising us with his performances - he WAS Captain Phillips, not Tom Hanks and I cannot WAIT to see him as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks.
Check out my interview with him, we talk about sneaky director tactics and what a night out in London might look like if you're with Tom Hanks.