Title – Greyhound (2020)
Director – Aaron Schneider (Get Low)
Cast – Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Mett Helm
Plot – The story of an American WW2 naval Captain Krause (Hanks) who along with his faithful crew escorted a convoy of ships across the Atlantic Ocean as German U-Boats hunt them down.
“Good luck surviving the night”
Review by Eddie on 24/07/2020
A passion project for its leading man Tom Hanks, who wrote the screenplay for this Aaron Schneider directed WW2 thriller, Greyhound is a film where there’s a constant wave of happenings and events but film as a whole feels like nothing more than a procession of repetitive occurences, that while well filmed and staged, lack any heart or emotional connection.
Wasting little time establishing any form of genuine back story to characters or events leading up to the film, Schneider and Hanks get stuck straight into the action (going for an almost Dunkirk like vibe that disallows us any respite from what’s occurring) as they introduce us to Hanks’s naval Captain Krause and his ship The Greyhound, as it try’s to escort a convoy of American ships across the Atlantic in the heat of WW2 to deliver supplies to England, a job made tough by the fact they are being hunted and taunted by German U-Boat submarines hot on their tail.
Within the first 15 minutes of the film bombs are falling and bullets flying as Hanks and his almost ghost like crew that includes actors like Stephen Graham who deserved more material to work with, find themselves playing cat and mouse battles against the pursuing enemy but while initially this is fine and in many ways tense enough to hold our attention, as the runtime wears on and the action (which includes a lot of blipping radars and radio comms) stays constant but the characters unrefined and unexplored, there’s little within Greyhound to hold onto or to care about as the proceedings push forward.
Originally scheduled to play out at cinema’s around the world later this year but bought by Apple’s streaming service for a handsome sum, it does appear as though Sony dodged a financial bullet here with Greyhound riding off a purchase fee that covers it’s mid-tier budget, as there’s nothing here to suggest that audiences would’ve been clambering to buy tickets to the big screen to catch this film that looks the part but lacks significant energy to make it feel as though we’ve been short-changed getting to see this on our home screens.
As per usual Hanks is his usual solid self, Krause feeling like a mix of his performance in Captain Phillip’s with a little bit of Bridge of Spies thrown in but just like the rest of the film Krause feels like a half-explored at best element, we get a flashback to conversations he has with his wife, snippets of his religious faith and glimpses of his determination shown through the soles of his bloodied feet but you can’t help but feel there was so much more for this film to delve into outside of its action focus.
Final Say –
What is an initially thrilling set-up quickly gives way to a film going through the motions, as Greyhound pushes forward towards its goal without so much of an afterthought for making us care about what is happening and who it is happening to.
2 pairs of slippers out of 5