A true story about the hijacking of an American cargo ship, The Maersk Alabama, by a small group of Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia, and the daring Captain Phillips who sought to protect his crew and talk down the pirates.
The director, Paul Greengrass also directed United 93, which was a virtual training film for Americans on how to stand up and fight back against terrorists, rather than cower to their demands like many would have us do. In this film, he takes a different course as he tells the story of how Captain Phillips, an ordinary American with a job to do, is confronted with, not terrorists, but simple hoodlums.
The Somalians are cast with powerful accuracy. No American stars pretending to be underfed third world victims of Al Shabab here. Greengrass must have cast actual Somalians who were so scrawny and pathetic carrying their big AK-47s, that you get a real taste of the reality of the situation. These five to eight little guys with big guns approaching a huge cargo ship without security and are able to circumvent the pathetic protective measures and commandeer it for ransom negotiations in the millions of dollars.
This really incarnated a powerful truth that Dennis Prager has often said. It shows how easy it is for NOTHINGS to achieve great destruction in this world. He always talks about it in terms of historically great people being cut down by Zeros like John Wilkes Booth, Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald, Kahlid Sheikh Mohammad, and others. No matter how big or how important someone or something is, it is so much easier to destroy than to build. And when we can’t cope with that reality of such horrible loss, that such greatness could be stopped by such nothingness that we often create conspiracy theories to make it much more important so the loss is not so tragically simple. Conspiracy theories are god substitutes because we can’t stand to live in a truly random world of chance. Kennedy couldn’t have been shot by a psychotic left wing Communist, no, it had to be a vast right wing conspiracy of the military industrial complex. The twin towers couldn’t have been taken down by a handful of Arab Muslim terrorists for their crazy religion, it had to be orchestrated by the vast right wing conspiracy of the Bush administration. The fact is it is so much easier to destroy than to build that Nothings can completely change history or do great damage with just their evil drive.
And that is what I thought watching this movie. Because of the immoral international laws that forbid security and self-protection on international or national waters – in other words, because of GUN CONTROL LAWS on the open sea – innocent shippers are made into cherry victims ready to pluck for all criminals. Yes, a huge American freighter with millions of dollars of cargo and corporate power can be easily taken hostage or destroyed or ruined, because they are not allowed to protect themselves. This is the inherent evil of gun control laws and disarmament philosophy. Whether it is in personal, national, or international contexts, it results in arming bad guys and disarming good guys and hands over innocents to be kidnapped and murdered. (Evil will never disarm, folks. Never.) If ships were allowed to have a simple armed security team, the entire Somali Pirate problem, a multibillion dollar a year criminal enterprise would virtually die overnight. But criminal lovers and their hatred for justice prefer that good people die by taking away their right to protect themselves. That is despicable.
But alas, Captain Phillips has no such protection at first. The pirates take over. But the crew fights back. It’s all quite suspenseful and exciting. But when the crew captures the captain of the pirates they make an exchange for the ability to take the ship’s lifeboat to getaway from their failed robbery. Instead, the pirates take Captain Phillips as ransom into the lifeboat, believing they will get millions from the bottomless coffers of the big corporation that hired him. So the second half of the picture takes place in this little modern lifeboat with Phillips and four of his captors. You wouldn’t think such a confined space would become such an edge of your seat ride, but it really is.
And then comes the American Navy. Three huge ships of the American Navy. Clearly massive overkill of power.
The big showdown is that we know the pirates can’t win, but can Phillips get away with his life?
What I like about Greengrass’s movie is that it is economically sparse on agenda. Of course, he gives the pirates their time to speak, as all good stories should, but it does not become a political charade of typical Hollywood idiocy. We hear of the Somalians becoming pirates because of how other country’s ships came and took all their fish out, so then they started to strike back by taking money forcefully to pay for their exploitation. As the lead pirate tells Phillips, the ransom that they get like this is just taxes for using their waters. Phillips says, “There must be something other than fishing and kidnapping you can do.” The pirate says, “Maybe in America.” Okay, fair enough. That’s his side. Life is so eaaaaaaaasy in America. These pirates are not terrorists, they are Marxist criminals. Poverty causes crime. Tell that to the hundreds of millions of poor who don’t engage in crime.
But later on as the violence increases, Phillips yells at the pirate, “You’re not just a fisherman! You’re not just a fisherman!” A little too subtle, but behind that point is that they ARE responsible for what they are doing. They are not mere victims. What they don’t tell you is what the pirates themselves have sometimes admitted, that once they realized they could make a lot of money by kidnapping and ransom, they became very good at it and made it into their business. It’s not about protecting their shores or “their sea” after all. They became a Mafia, an organized crime syndicate that justifies their evil by classic Marxist finger pointing of moral equivalencies and economic inequalities. But at the end of the day, they’re just criminals who justify their evil by appeals to victimhood: This victim politics is the biggest cause of evil and violence in our world today. People paint themselves as victims which justifies them lashing out in violence at innocent people in the name of “justice,” which is actually just evil. Whether it’s the Occupy movement or the race baiting in the Media and in left wing hate politics, it’s always about justifying evil by appealing to victimhood.
Okay, I’ll stop my tangent. On to American Exceptionalism.
Now, at the end of the movie one is overwhelmed by the massive show of force of three huge war ships surrounding this little lifeboat for one American captain of a boat. Talk about overkill. This is where I can see liberals interpreting their own feeling about how America is just too big and powerful and a bully.
But I didn’t see it that way.
What I saw was how evil is so able to do so much destruction with so little effort that Big Evil will only do far more destruction. Therefore overkill is the only thing that works. Evil only respects forceful power. Evil will not respect a president who apologizes and does nothing to stop their growth of atomic weapons. Evil will not respect the Neville Chamberlains who want to negotiate peace. They will negotiate disarmament and when the good is disarmed, they will plunge in the knife. Evil will not be as willing to shoot up a bunch of children if they know others can be armed for protection. (All the mass shootings have occurred in gun free zones. Evil is not stupid, the Left is). Therefore, the only way to overcome evil is with overwhelming force. When evil sees that they have no chance whatsoever, and they better give up or be demolished, only then will evil respond with unconditional surrender. That is just how the world works. America is not the bully, America is the security guard protecting the little guy from all the bullies. If we didn’t overwhelm with force, there would be ten times as many Islamic terrorist incidents and criminal incidents than there already are.
I won’t give it away, but I’ll just say the Navy Seals kick ass in this story. Yeah.
Lastly, I found it quite humorous that the only pirate who lives is the “captain” pirate who we see on the screen in a super that he is serving 33 years in a Terra Haute prison. But they should have added, “Where he is being better taken care of than in his own country. He receives three square meals a day, cable, conjugal visits, free health care, porn and can get a college degree if he wants.” America is so good that even its criminals are treated more humanely than the normal citizens of other countries. Not only that, but I laughed when the Navy read the captain pirate his Miranda rights when they got him. Unlike any other country on earth, America, who is supposed to be a bully, is giving rights to an international criminal that are reserved for its citizens? Let’s see that in any other country. That ain’t no bully, that’s exceptionalism.
(I am not saying America is perfect. I know we have plenty of evils as well, like we allow women to kill their offspring by the millions, we have unjust government that oppresses its political enemies through government institutions like the IRS and the NSA, welfare slavery, and criminally corrupt politicians and media who spread lies and incite hatred and violence. Okay. I’m not blind. We aren’t the Kingdom of God, and I never said we were. But we’re still better than all the rest. And without us, the whole bloody world is in trouble from Islamic fanatics.)