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Tom Hanks in Greyhound (2020)Review

Greyhound (War/History) (2020)


Director: Aaron Schneider

Writers: Tom Hanks (screenplay by), C.S. Forester (based on the novel by)

Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Matt Helm

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During his first stint as U.S. Navy Commander after spending years as a Careers Officer, Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) is to protect a sizable Allied convoy from the German U-Boats while they make their way from the United States to Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

Greyhound is the nickname of the U.S.S Keeling, a fictional ship so most of the film is shot on the U.S.S Kidd which is also mentioned in the background by a supporting actor, certainly a nice nod to the actual vessel it was filmed on. While not being a true story the original novel ‘’The Good Shephard’’ by C.S. Forester was highly researched and renowned for the accurate depiction of naval warfare at the time.

Greyhound’s setting harkens back to submarine films like the 1981 classic Das Boot, creating a certain dread due to the tense, dark and oppressive atmosphere. Most of the shots are below deck in the navigation room and at the helm of the ship, with limited scenes taking place in the cantina and the captain’s quarters. The last location is where it tries to give some background to Krause as at the start of the film we shortly get introduced to his girlfriend (Elisabeth Shue), apart from that there is little depth in each character. Nevertheless, the way Tom Hanks subtly expresses his emotions while having to stay persistently strong as a captain, it’s nothing but another statement about just the level of an actor he is. While it’s difficult to step up to Hank’s standard of acting, there is nothing to be said against the performances of the other roles played by the supporting cast.

As someone who is at least relatively interested in World War II movies, while being more of a technical piece rather than Drama focused, Greyhound is most undoubtedly enjoyable for large audiences, the nail-biting kind of enjoyable that is. As for the runtime, it’s worth noting that it sits at about an hour and a half, would it have been longer I think you’d have a lot of people that can’t get through it. Most of the time, it does skip between battles to keep it as fast and enjoyable as it is tense with little room for overly complicated dialogue or storylines.

With just a handful of criticism that could be given, I’d say Greyhound is more than ordinary, Hanks shining through as both an actor and a writer. Apple TV has a great original in hand with Greyhound, but it won’t be enough to get people to buy subscriptions.

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Even at the end, Hanks is still the Captain of his ship.