Greyhound (2020) movie review
Based on the novel “The Good Shepherd” by C.S. Forester, Greyhound stars Tom Hanks as a U.S. Navy destroyer commander in the second World War. His inexperience is put to the test when, while escorting an Allied convoy across the Atlantis, they become the prey of a pack of German U-boats. The film was released on Apple TV+ this past July to generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences. While few would call it a masterpiece, Greyhound was submitted as a viable Oscar contender this year, thanks to- well a lack of options it seems.
Maybe it’s because of the lack of options, or because I’ve been just dying for a few more good movies in a year full of below-average released, but I really liked Greyhound! And honestly, this shouldn’t be a hard review. If you like war films, Tom Hanks, or ninety minutes of thrilling action, hey grab a free trial of Apple TV+ and check out Greyhound! At the very least, it’s entertaining! At best, it might be better than Dunkirk… Okay that’s a stretch, but I didn’t love Dunkirk.
Let’s start by talking about just what this film is: Greyhound is ninety minutes of a desperately outnumbers and inexperienced naval captain trying to protect a very large number of ships from a very large number of submarines with only two other Destroyers and what seems like one rescue ship aiding. It’s intense, and often visually and audibly overwhelming. The tone of the film perfectly throws you into the action, with the aim to treat the audience as its captain. On top of that, the pacing gives you just enough time to breath before throwing you right back into the horrible messy situation the crew has found themselves in. So as far as comparing the film to Dunkirk, Greyhound absolutely nails the hectic feeling of war.
Unlike Dunkirk, Greyhound has one protagonist, Tom Hank’s Captain Krause. The film is no character drama, so to say he is the primary focus of the story would be misleading. But I do think the the films aim of having Krause realize just how new to the situation and how quickly he needs to adapt works perfectly. He makes very human mistakes, and we the audience become unsure if we would make the same hard calls he has to. This of course is anchored by Tom Hanks, who delivers a fine-tuned performance driven by a strong script (also written by Hanks.)
Aside from the story and the protagonist, there’s not much else to talk about aside from the filmmaking. Stephen Graham was great though! Such a strong performance for a very compelling character. Anyway, Greyhound is a pretty good looking film if you ask me! The entire visual style is as grey as the cold Atlantic setting, but the colors never feel dull, just cold. The visual effects should at least compete for an Oscar this year, and if they win I wouldn’t mind! I didn’t dislike Midway (2019), but it did not look good. Greyhound is a sharp film with tight editing, compelling cinematography, and a very competent use of wide shots.
So look, the more you know about the US Navy the more you’ll like Greyhound. But just because its a war film with Tom Hanks doesn’t mean you have to know dad jokes to appreciate this film. I can certainly see why it doesn’t have a higher rating than 64/100 on Metascore, but while is probably only deserves a 7/10, I really just loved the immersive atmosphere, intense pacing, and downright desperate tone. It’s a thrilling watch, and one that might just go down as one oy my favorite films of 2020. 8/10.
So Greyhound? Did you watch it? What did you think? And what is your favorite war film told from the deck of a ship? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let me know! And if you liked this review and you want to read a few more like it, be sure to let us know what you want us to review next!
-review by Ryan Prince