The Reel Review
Tom Hanks produces, writes and stars in this WWII drama on AppleTV+ about an unassuming first time U.S. Navy captain bravely leading an Allied convoy of supply ships across the Atlantic Ocean while being pursued by German Nazi U-boats. It is based on the 1955 novel “The Good Shepherd” by C.S. Forester.
What makes this film admirable is the straight-forward approach Hanks takes in telling a simple story about the convoys and the brave men on the escort ships that helped protect them in the process. To this effort, Greyhound, with its visual effects and stirring score, captures the unrelenting monotony and constant danger of these missions.
Unfortunately all the repetitive nautical jargon and cat and mouse torpedo dodging will delight only war historians and those who lived such experiences – most other viewers will find this scant history lesson a bit tedious – like watching two other people play a live action version of the board game Battleship. There just isn’t much story nor character development – Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) and Rob Morgan (The Photograph, Just Mercy) have very brief appearances as the respective girlfriend and ship’s food runner. Greyhound, while fine, lacks the emotional heft to keep it afloat, even for its brief hour and a half runtime.
• The third installment in Tom Hanks’ WWII TV miniseries, Masters of the Air, will debut on AppleTV+ later in 2020. The prior two, 2001’s Band of Brothers and 2010’s The Pacific, each won multiple Emmy awards, including trophies for Outstanding Miniseries.
• The actual HX 25 convoy profiled in Greyhound departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 5, 1940, arriving in Liverpool, England two and a half months later, on May 20th, with only one ship coming under aerial attack and no losses.
• Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were two of the first film celebrities diagnosed with coronavirus in March 2020 while in Australia preparing for Hanks’ role in an upcoming Elvis Presley biopic. They have both since made a full recovery.