GREYHOUND (2020)

GREYHOUND (2020) movie poster
Navy veteran Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) is assigned a mission as first-time captain of a destroyer, code-named Greyhound, to protect a convoy of 37 supply ships across the North Atlantic during the United States' early involvement in WWII. With only three escort ships and no air cover, the leader and his crew must navigate through a dangerous stretch of ocean known as "The Black Pit", where they encounter a group of Nazi U-boats. Survival depends on the outcome of the battle against the determined German submarines.

Tense action and the formidable Tom Hanks steer this compact thriller. Inspired by events that took place during the Battle of the Atlantic, Mr. Hanks' screenplay is based on C.S. Forester's novel "The Good Shepherd". What could have been a long epic war drama is watered-down to about 90 minutes - concentrating almost entirely on sea battles. There is no character development, but none is really needed. When the focus on humans is necessary, director Aaron Schneider ("Get Low") turns the camera on his star. Tom Hanks, as expected, skillfully portrays the pressured God-fearing hero. The supporting players take on much smaller roles. Stephen Graham (Al Capone in tv's "Boardwalk Empire"), as Krause's second-in-command, and Rob Morgan ("Mudbound"), as the ship's head chef, make the most of their brief scenes. A short set-up segment in the opening features Elisabeth Shue as Ernest's girlfriend, who meets with him before he leaves for duty. Chet Hanks, the star's son, appears as a crew member. Luckily, the conflict is what drives the narrative. CGI effects are mostly spectacular, but occasionally unconvincing. The chilling ocean scenes and claustrophobic shots inside the ship are nicely captured by cinematographer Shelly Johnson. Composer Blake Neely's thunderous score adds excitement to the fast-paced story. There's interesting archival footage during the closing credits. While not quite up to the level of "The Enemy Below" (the Robert Mitchum American destroyer vs. German U-boat spectacle), this entertaining film leaves little time for thought. The serviceable "Greyhound" stays afloat. (3/5 CAMS)

Rated PG-13 (for war-related action/violence and brief strong language) 
Running Time: 91 minutes

Streaming July 10, 2020 on Apple TV+.

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