U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ernest Krause is assigned to lead an Allied convoy across the Atlantic during World War II. His convoy, however, is pursued by German U-boats. Although this is Krause’s first wartime mission, he finds himself embroiled in what would come to be known as the longest, largest and most complex naval battle in history: The Battle of the Atlantic.
Plot: Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.
Director: Aaron Schneider
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 91 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Greyhound‘s characters aren’t as robust as its action sequences, but this fast-paced World War II thriller benefits from its efficiently economical approach.
Online Ratings: (Subject to change)
“Amazing action sequences, no character development.”
“I enjoyed #GreyhoundMovie but expected more. The action was there, but there was zero character depth. We all love Tom Hanks, which is why we care about his character even though we don’t get the chance to learn why. It’s just too short, this film should’ve doubled in length!”
That quote above was the tweet I sent out moments after watching this film. That’s probably what most of you are looking for… a short, simple and to the point review about the film which follows suit. Diving in just a bit deeper, this was still a very enjoyable movie, you just have to understand that this movie rolls credits at the 81 minute mark. I need to do more research because if this film’s purpose was to be short and to the point, it completed the task — I just wish there was more.
We start the movie with Tom Hanks’ character speaking and exchanging presents with his significant other before he heads out on his first ever assigned role to lead an Allied convoy across the Atlantic during World War II. We learn that he’s a man of God, works so hard that he never gets a moment to eat and his feet hurt — that’s it when it comes to a backstory — we don’t learn anything deeper about him or any of the characters around him. Instead of that depth, we are thrown right into technical side of naval warfare. We spend (outside of the intro) the entire movie on the Greyhound watching Tom Hanks commanding his vessel and the crew members around him. This part is spot on, we watch all the little details behind combating enemy submarines with technology that isn’t completely superior to human intuition. In this situation both technology and the human touch merge together to create a strategy to survive the night. This is done at near perfect level, they did an amazing job adding tension to every new encounter.
Behind the great action sequences, the problem for me comes with the minimalism approach to everything else. I understand my opinion was bias going in because my expectations were high, but I don’t believe I’m too out of bounds with that high-bar. We’re getting a Tom Hanks movie embedded in World War II? I expect an epic, which is why I think this 1 hour 21 minute film should have nearly doubled in length.
Give me more of Tom Hanks getting ready for this role and how it affects his relationship with his family — is he confident or scared? More depth behind his thoughts and feelings before he took command of the ship would’ve been great, let us learn more about him. Introduce me to more characters on this ship or even other ships in the convoy — not only would that have added depth to the situation, but it would make their deaths and decisions (if it came to that) more impactful. Outside of that, what happens in-between the action sequences when we cut to the next day? What was moral like on the ship? What was going through their minds? How did they go about repairing and keeping the ship(s) afloat? There are so many different ways to add to the missing depth and dimension.
Put it this way, we love Tom Hanks as a human being and as an actor, so we already care about him even though we know nothing about his character. In order for this role to work you have to throw in a top notch actor that has screen presence without saying a word. There’s a moment where we see this at the end of the film — Tom Hanks’ character is getting applause and admiration from his peers and crew and in an instant, BAM! the hero becomes human and the human becomes hero. So many amazing actors wouldn’t have been able to save this film — lucky enough Tom Hanks does.
In conclusion —
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Greyhound is still someting you should check out because the action scenes are top notch — like I said before, I just wish there was more. Most of us are in lockdown and we can’t go to the movies, so it’s exciting that you can watch this right now — don’t pass this up! This isn’t at the depth The Hunt for Red October, Das Boot or Crimson Tide, so don’t expect that.
The next questions for me will be, is this going to be released to own? How long does Apple get to hold on to this? I wonder is there will be a physical release sometime in the future. A UHD disc should make this movie look even better because even though I streamed this in 4K, the disc will always give the best picture.
Are you a fan of Greyound? What did you think about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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