It’s a steal being able to watch Greyhound for $4.99 or a free week trial, if eligible, for AppleTV+.
Hanks adapted Greyhound from the 1955 C.S. Forester novel The Good Shepherd, which is set during the Battle of the Atlantic. The book tells a fictional story about a WWII captain, George Krause, who is leading his first war convoy later in his life. This leads him to have doubts about whether he’s fit for the job since those around him are younger but have more war experience. What Is Real & Imagined In America’s Dad’s Latest WWII Movie Greyhound?
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
Simplistic WWII Tale similar in purpose to 1917
When the Oscar-winning 1917 starts, we follow behind the camera of two soldiers with a mission to deliver orders across enemy lines. In a very similar fashion, Greyhound starts with Hanks’ character Captain Krause eating breakfast and taking command of the protector ship for a convoy heading through a zone without any air cover. Along with his crew, they must execute at a fever pace, reacting to German U-boat sightings, with the concerns being ammunition level, avoiding torpedos and trying to ignore taunting from the Grey Wolf, a U-Boat with a commanding officer that tells them repeatedly they are going to die.
The emotion of 1917 is very similar in that I was fearful for the soldiers and in this case worried that the good ship Greyhound would become torpedoed and sunk. Would they make it to air cover before running out of ammunition?
There is no time for Captain Krause to even eat, as we are reminded multiple times. No time for sleep, no time for doing anything but focusing on protecting the fleet. Getting across and into friendly waters where air cover exists.
For those who are looking for more plot or story than that, there really isn’t any. There is characterization, but it’s not done with exposition, it’s done with facial expressions, character actions and all the ways good films and acting performances.
What Good Guy Character Can’t Tom Hanks Do?
After seeing Tom Hanks here, I’m beginning to think there is no good guy character Tom Hanks can’t play. It would be interesting to see him writing himself into a really bad, bad guy role. Could he pull that off? I think he might be typecast at a perennial good guy. Just Hanks showing up on screen and you feel for the guy. That makes films with him starring like this one stand out.
Reviews by Others
What do others think about Greyhound?
- tensecondsfromnow / film-authority.com: “Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk aside, WWII has been something of a cinematic dead-end of late, with film-makers too keen to view the past through the prism of today’s issues. Focusing on deep blue heroics, Hanks earns his chops as a writer, but also reminds audiences worldwide that America once led the free world.”
- After Misery: “…it’s a dad movie. Last year we got something similar in ‘Midway’ and even if I usually avoid comparing movies within reviews, now there’s a good reason for it. Greyhound isn’t getting torpedoed by a lengthy runtime or messy editing like Midway, in fact the solid editing keeps the sea battles tense and interesting. Splashy visual effects are used here more carefully and cinematography is using a lot less to deliver more”
- Andy Meek / BGR: “For much of it, you experience the fog of war right alongside the commanding officer — with an additional obstacle being that we don’t always understand what the orders that have been barked out mean, since we’re not fluent in Navy-speak. But that only adds to the verisimilitude”
- badblokebob (4/5): “This isn’t some stately drama about men at sea who are occasionally forced to take potshots at an unseen enemy, but an action movie; only instead of men clashing with kung fu or guns, its boats and subs fighting with torpedos and, um, trigonometry. The result is tight, tense, and thrilling.”
- Cinema Trace: “It’s focus is the action and skill it took to avoid being hit, and one excruciating moment when the Greyhound is put as a target of two triangulated torpedoes, shows the inevitability of warfare and the near impossibility of maneuvering the floating tonnage of a war ship on the rough open waters of the Atlantic. Whether or not they are successful, you’ll have to see the film. It’s spectacular.”
- Darren / The M0vie Blog: “The movie runs a brisk ninety-one minutes, which makes it surprisingly lean as summer blockbusters go. That brevity helps to underscore the movie’s core strengths. It is a movie that relies on adrenaline and tension, and maintaining those sensations for longer than an hour-and-a-half is a big ask for even the most skilled filmmakers. Instead, Greyhound gets in, gets out and gets the job done.”
- Doc / EYG / Embrace Your Geekness: “If you are a fan of war movies, Greyhound is an effective story that is a quick and enjoyable watch. Tom Hanks is great as always and the visuals are stunning.”
- Doug Jamieson / The Jam Report (3.5/5): “…it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel of war movies and there’s very little here we haven’t seen in countless other films. It’s a classic war film that showcases the anarchy of battle and the toll responsibility can take on those in charge. If the film stopped to take a breath and allow us to more intimately understand its key players, the end result may have been more compelling.”
- Keith / Keith & The Movies (4.5/5): “For a taut 90 minutes the film sticks to that focus, carrying its viewers across the enemy-infested North Atlantic and putting us into the heads of the men navigating it. It could have done more with its characters or built more of a backstory. But it’s the willingness to stick to its guns (no pun intended) that makes the movie such a thrilling war-time experience.”
- luisreviewer / World Of Entertainment: “Great film, really a tense film that I think keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat.”
- POPCORN ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWS: “The movie is fast-paced with no rest for the captain or the audience. This is not a character-driven movie or an in-depth analysis of the crew members. It’s non-stop torpedos, attempts to save ships being sunk, flying bullets, blasting battery cannons, and depth-charges blowing up U-boats. The seas are rough, the air is freezing cold, and the nights are dark and frightening.”
- Rob’s Movie Vault: “…a taut, exciting, no-nonsense war movie that weighs in, less the end credits, at one hour and twenty-three minutes. The film’s brevity is true to the virtues it respects: clear, coolheaded professionalism, all egos checked, a well-oiled machine of well-trained men getting the job done.”
- Sarah Cartland / Caution Spoilers: “…is a study in the on-the-spot mechanics of sea battle pretending to be an examination of character (it was interesting to watch it just after The Old Guard, a character study and love story pretending to be a fantasy about immortals).”
- The Interstellar Valley / jlambright: “Get it, watch it. Become part of this messed up experiment in keeping Hollywood afloat during these turbulent, fraught times.”
- tomburkhalter: “…don’t expect this story to tell you what is happening. It’s going to bloody well show you. My advice? Hang on and pay attention.”
- Vague Visages / Peter Bell: “The biggest factor that keeps Greyhound from being a genre standout is the predictable nature of Schneider’s direction and Shelly Johnson’s cinematography. The establishing shots are rather generic and better suited for a television series than a dramatic film.”
- Cait Kennedy / But Why Tho? A Geek Community: “Overall, Greyhound is…fine. Its worst sin is being simply adequate. It neither impresses nor disappoints, but it certainly does not go beyond the bare minimum. As a streaming flick, it will blend seamlessly into the ranks of its kind but will likely be forgotten. Which really is a shame.”
- Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “Tom Hanks is strong enough in the leading role, but he never hits the full level of his abilities, with the supporting cast not putting a foot wrong, only they just don’t get to make an impact in anyway. This does end up feeling like one of the bigger disappointments in the year, being more average, rather than a spectacle it should have been.“
- Den Of Geek / David Crow: “…has a listless quality that cannot seem to wrap its arms around the potential for white-knuckled dread. While there are a few standout moments, like the first time a U-Boat crosses beneath Krause’s ship, or when they hear the earliest taunts from U-Boat sadists over the radio seeking to psychologically torture their prey, in the main the film moves at a perfunctory pace that better resembles an unpleasant pleasure cruise.”
- Orca Flotta / Thar She Blows: “A procedural small scale production of a U-boat hunt without any character. Many cheaply made effects don’t necessarily have any effect on the audience. I guess Tom Hanks is lucky his film was snatched up by AppleTV+, it wouldn’t stand a chance in the theatre.”
- Rachel’s Reviews (6.5/10): “I realize some will want more character development and I can understand that. There are choices in Greyhound that pushed the simplistic approach even for me. For example, the radio dispatches from the wolfpack ships are as sniveling and sleazy as we’ve ever seen from an evil German in a movie. He sounds like he is practically a villain from an Indiana Jones movie for a second.”
- Simon / TV and City (Grade: C-): “The film isn’t without merit, including a good Tom Hanks performance and a decent supporting cast (though Elisabeth Shue is terribly underutilized), but they can’t elevate Greyhound from being painfully generic and insipid.”
- The Obsessive Viewer: “…like the dialogue, the action becomes too repetitive by the end to stand apart. There are only so many ways to depict attacking enemy submarines without getting stale. Regardless, I felt everything the film wanted me to feel: despair when something goes wrong, exhilaration when victory is achieved (the sweeping score by Blake Neely surely helped contribute).”
Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.
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Happy movie watching!