Home Film ‘Greyhound’ Review – Tom Hanks Shines at Sea in this Enthralling War Film

‘Greyhound’ Review – Tom Hanks Shines at Sea in this Enthralling War Film

by Ben Rolph

Originally set for release in cinemas around the globe, Greyhound is another cinematic casualty of the ongoing troubles in the world. While its new home streaming on Apple TV+ will undoubtedly allow a few non-cinemagoers a chance to watch the film, it’s still a little disappointing to see it get “dumped”. Directed by Aaron Schneider and written by Tom Hanks, Greyhound is surely a film to experience in the cinema.

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 Brandon Holubar, Michael Carollo, Cade Burk, & Tom Hanks in ‘Greyhound’ courtesy of Apple 

The film starts off rather disconnected and distant, however, it gets going once it arrives at the sea warfare. In this warfare you get to know and feel along with the characters, strengthening the story. There is a natural progression to one’s connection with the film, by the midpoint you will be enthralled. Set at a constant ticking pace, the Greyhound is constantly under threat. Even at points via radio transmissions, U-Boat commanders taunt the Allied convoys of being surrounded. There’s a subtlety in the exploration of the human condition and the effect of such an embroiling, complex few days.

An Allied convoy heads across the Atlantic during World War II. Led by U.S. Navy Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks). Pursued by a flurry of German U-boats, an all-out battle begins. The Battle of the Atlantic would be known as the longest and largest battle in naval history.

Undoubtedly, comparisons will be drawn to 2019’s Midway in terms of bombastic visual effects-heavy action. Both films have flaws but succeed in capturing the essence of war and the constant threat they face. Visual effects are a constant, at first its a little distracting, the way the water simulations clatter the side of the boats and crash over each other. Though as the battle begins, you lose focus on some of these inconsistencies and accept the bombastic style for what it is. Additionally, the cinematography has some other distracting choices, digital placement of water on the lens is overused at points. We get the point, its wet and water is splashing everywhere. Otherwise, it’s visually stimulating and that’s probably the greatest flaw of the film, and its not even a big one.

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Courtesy of Apple

Hanks and co-star Stephen Graham are great. Hanks’ performance grounds the film, there is a humanity in the approach of his character. The effect of the battle builds upon him, which is aided by his impressively researched screenplay. Most of the film consists of ‘sea-talk’, using such words as “left rudder”, “starboard”, and many more.

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As with most great war films, there is a great score. Blake Neely’s work is inspiring and heroic. Most noticeably as you naturally become emotional at the end, the score blasts through as they reign victorious over the sinking German U-Boats. “Yesterday, today and forever”, Greyhound is an impressively wound film that enthralls with its bombastic and explosive sea warfare.

★★★★☆

Check out our interview with director Aaron Schneider!

Watch Greyhound starting July 10 only on Apple TV+

Follow editor and writer Ben Rolph on Twitter: @THEDCTVSHOW

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