LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV11 Film Critic Jonathan Nettles with a double review of Captain Phillips and Machete Kills.
In April 2009, Somali Pirates boarded the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama after a failed hijacking attempt; the pirates escape the vessel on board a small lifeboat with the Alabama's commanding officer as their hostage. This is the true story that is the basis for Captain Phillips.
Tom Hanks plays the title character as only Tom Hanks could, perfectly. He brings a high level of confidence, fear, and determination to the role as he takes the audience on the emotional journey of the captain. It pits him against a very talented Somali actor from Minnesota, Barkhad Abdi who plays the captain of the pirates, Muse. While their relationship is the focus of the film, you get a good viewpoint of the entire event from the story of the boarding of the pirates, the chaos on board the lifeboat, and the U.S. Navy's resolve.
The entire movie is filled with anticipation s the view already knows what's going to happen but director Paul Greengrass doesn't let that journey be wasted. He takes his time getting to the most intense parts and, believe me; the last 30-45 minutes of the film are very intense. Tom Hanks could easily win an award for his performance in the last 10 minutes of the film.
Something must have been wrong with the theater's ventilation system during those last 10 minutes. My lip started to quiver and my eyes felt like they were about to release some sort of salty liquid.
On nearly the other end of this weekend's film spectrum, Machete Kills is the latest in over-the-top violence and filmmaking from director, writer, editor Robert Rodriguez. Our hero, Machete is an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the President of the United States to take down a madman revolutionary and a even madder eccentric arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread anarchy across the planet while building a new world.
This is the kind of movie that is awesome at being a bad movie which strangely makes it a good movie. Everything in this movie is overplayed from the violence, to the dialogue, to the acting. That's what makes this a fun movie to watch, Robert Rodriguez knows what people expect from this film and it's almost a project to walk the line of acceptable over-the-top filmmaking and a complete disaster.
The cast is a who's who of actors featuring Danny Trejo as Machete, Mel Gibson as the eccentric bad guy, Carlos Estevez aka Charlie Sheen as the President and appearances by Sophia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Antonio Banderas, Lady Gaga, Cuba Gooding, Jr, and Vanessa Hudgens.