Trailer for ‘Captain Phillips’ Makes Another Hero Out of Hanks

Kara Warner
Senior Reporter
Movie Talk

Are you a fan of Tom Hanks in heroic roles? How about director Paul Greengrass' groundbreaking action movies "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum?" Now what if the two joined cinematic forces to make a big screen adaptation of the very real and very scary 2009 incident in which Somali pirates attacked a cargo ship and you had a chance to see the first trailer for the October release today (May 8)? You would probably watch it immediately, here.

The "Captain Phillips" trailer opens innocently enough, with Capt. Richard Phillips (Hanks) performing a routine scan of the ocean and his radar screen, when suddenly he is put on alert by the beeping announcement of two unidentified vessels rapidly approaching his ship. "I don't like the look of that," he says to his first officer, pointing to the two dots, while the ominous music in the background tells us something wicked this way comes.

The words "Based on a true story," flash up on the screen followed by the first look at the heavily armed pirates. The action continues to build with Phillips' distress call to the coast guard, which offers little assistance, and then things kick into high gear when we see the pirates' firing upon the vessel and attempting to attach a ladder to the ship to board it, despite Phillips and his crew's adrenaline-rich best efforts to avoid that fate. "If they find you, remember you know the ship, they don't," a Boston-accented-Hanks-as-Phillips tells his crew when they see the ladder catch hold. "Stick together and we'll be alright."

Come on, is there any actor more appealing than Tom Hanks as a real-life average-ish guy hero who tries to fight off a bunch of menacing, deadly Somali pirates? This is audience bait like no other and I am totally amped up and onboard (pun intended) after watching just a minute and a half of this thing.

The last 45 seconds of the two-minute trailer are expertly cut to make us as anxious as possible about the volatile situation unfolding between the pirates and Hanks' unarmed crew, even though we already know what happens (don't click through if you want to remain spoiler free!). Hanks is standing his ground! Hanks is the hero, "Don't shoot them, shoot me!" he says to the pirates. Hanks sweating! Hanks in agony! Hanks is not going down without a fight! What will happen to Hanks?! The trailer won't tell us of course, it leaves us hanging.

"Captain Phillips" also features Catherine Keener, Max Martini and John Magaro and opens everywhere October 11.