I had a feeling when we turned this on that it was going to creep me out a little. I mean, I barely remember when this stuff was in the news more regularly a few years back, but I don’t know … maybe after having been on a couple of big boats myself for cruises, the whole story just kind of hit a little too close to home for me because the second the pirates started climbing their ladder and it was clear that they were getting on that boat, I just couldn’t help but think, “Man, am I going to have some fucked up dreams tonight…”
Throughout the entire movie, all I could think was how much I wanted to see Tom Hanks rise up to be a bad ass and punch one of the hijackers right in the face … even as Home Alone-ish as it seemed, I kind of loved the retribution when the one dude cut his foot on the broken glass that they had left out for him, and I was very much rooting for one of the guys to club the lead pirate with a lead pipe or something when he was rooting around the engine room by himself!
The one thing that I was expecting that didn’t end up happening, though, was that I just assumed that eventually “the mothership” was going to come back and then there would be 20 pirates vs. the ship’s crew as opposed to only 4 … seriously, they couldn’t have figured out a way to overpower four of them, especially after they took one hostage and another had a busted up foot?!
I think what really blew my mind even more than the actual movie, though, was in reading Wikipedia just now and finding out how much actual piracy took place around Somalia during that 5-year span – in 2008, there were 111 attacks that led to 42 successful hijackings, and then the following year they were up to 79 attacks and 21 successful by mid-April! I had no idea that this wasn’t just some random thing – piracy is a big deal over off of the Horn of Africa and apparently there’s a ton of money to be made by ransoming ships and their crews for insurance money from the shipping companies. I mean, the list of pirate attacks is so big on Wikipedia that they have to divide it up by year to make it legible … it’s just crazy that we normally think of pirates as the Johnny Depp, ruthless but harmless motif that we enjoy from Pirates of the Caribbean, but these Pirates of the Indian Ocean apparently really mean business! 🙁
Although not for nothing, but reading through those lists and seeing the random entries where apparently pirates were dumb enough to fire upon naval warships and then finding that they pretty much got smoked out of the water is somewhat redeeming. To be honest, I was kind of hoping to see that happen in this movie, with the navy catching up to their rickety, old mothership and just blasting their pirate asses to kingdom come … but that never happened.
So anyways, I really liked this movie, even though it kept me on edge and I fear of images of Somali pirates now haunting my dreams. I thought that Tom Hanks gave yet another stellar performance, even up to his shock scene at the very end where I wanted the nurse to just give him a pillow and let him cry it out with a nice hug, even though the nurses on either side of me watching the movie were quick to cite that my suggestion was pretty much the worst possible way to treat a person in shock!
I guess that’s why I’m a writer, not a trained medical professional. And you definitely won’t catch me boating around Africa anytime soon, either … here I just thought that sharks were the worst thing to deal with in that part of the world, but Somali pirates definitely look like they would be much, much worse… 😯