Tom Hanks' Capt. Phillips: I Gasped!

I gasped. For air? In shock? Both. Watching Tom Hanks, playing Captain Richard Phillips taken hostage by Somali pirates as our Navy SEALS closed in near the end of the film named for the real-life captain, I was so drawn in, I thought America's dad, Tom Hanks was about to be slaughtered in real-life before my very eyes. Talk about a suspension of disbelief!

It's as if you're on-board with them as US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, is hijacked by Somali pirates. The last time an American cargo ship was hijacked was 200 years ago. The scant security aboard that 2009 hijacked ship -- mind-boggling.

Hanks disappeared into his role. The female doctor who examines him is no actor. She's Dr. Danielle Albert, a licensed physician and military doctor. Needless to say, but I will anyway, she was spot-on.

The actors playing pirates sure seemed like real pirates. They scared the life out of me. The whole film, I'm thinking, "Where did they get these guys?" Part-Somali in real-life, lead pirate Barkhad Abdi, back to driving a limo in Minnesota. This was his first acting gig. Unbelievable performance.

Captain Phillips (2013) makes me proud to be an American. It's based on his memoir, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea
(Hyperion 2010) by Captain Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty. DVD release is January 21, 2014.

This should be required viewing for every person on the planet. The US is no stranger to dropping propaganda pamphlets from airplanes. How about dropping Captain Phillips DVDs in every nook and cranny of the globe as a deterrent to would-be terrorists? Starting with Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia.

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Terrorists sure would think twice about terrorizing Americans if they were to view Captain Phillips. This picture is a testament to American smarts and ingenuity. A tribute to our Navy SEALS. Wow!

No American lives were lost in this harrowing tale. A testament to calm and collected on the outside, quick-thinking Captain Richard Phillips, most of all.

Walking out of Bluffton, Ohio's Shannon Theater in the nation's heartland, I couldn't believe what I'd seen on-screen. I sat in the driver's seat of my car for a few minutes just to get my bearings before hitting the open road.
Lonna Saunders may be reached at