Image Courtesy of Apple Inc.

Film Review: Greyhound

17:00 July 24, 2020
By: Fritz Esker

Shot in Baton Rouge, the new WWII submarine thriller Greyhound (written by and starring Tom Hanks) is a tight, economical film.

[Image Courtesy of Apple Inc.]

Hanks plays Captain Krause, a U.S. Navy captain shepherding an allied convoy through the dangerous Atlantic Ocean. German U-boats are on patrol and out for blood. It's a simple but effective setup.

Directed by Aaron Schneider, Greyound runs only 91 minutes, which is exceedingly rare for a war film. There aren't any speeches about patriotism or what it all means, nor is there much in the way of character-to-character conflict on the ship. However, Hanks the screenwriter correctly recognizes that the story doesn't need any of that. The mission to survive is compelling enough in its own right.

Hanks's script is full of nice little nuts-and-bolts details about life in the ocean during World War II. Keeping window wipers functional is extremely important. A crewman fighting off a sneeze while relaying a message causes a nearly fatal delay. The captain spends multiple days in a row without any sleep and on his feet. As a result, his feet turn into a bloody mess. All of those bits help make the situation seem real and lived-in.

Greyhound was supposed to be released in theaters in May, but the studio sold it to Apple+ TV. It's a worthwhile film, but it's a shame that it won't be seen on the big screen. But that's 2020 for you.

*** Stars (Out of Four)

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