Greyhound (2020) is a thrilling story of the tremendous courage shown at sea during the Battle of the Atlantic, World War 2. It stars Tom Hanks as Captain Ernest Krause, a newly ranked Captain who must lead an international convoy of 37 ships across the Atlantic in his first mission at the helm. He and his crew face many challenges, including the impeding weather conditions and the stalking threat of German U-boats.
Initially, I was nervous about the film’s 91-minute runtime. Notable films in this genre are historically longer but this film performs exceptionally with its allotted time. Its pacing is excellent and keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Viewers can feel the lurking presence of evil as Krause’ convoy travels across the Atlantic, as well as feel like they are apart of the ship’s crew.
This is achieved successfully by director Aaron Schneider (Get Low (2009)) due to his decision to use close-up shots on many members of the crew and ship locations to personify the film. The film is written by its star Tom Hanks, whom adapted the story from C.S. Forester’s novel The Good Shepherd. The film’s plot is simple yet effective in portraying the intense reality of life on the water during World War 2, and is culminated through gripping suspense and dialogue.
The film’s music composer Blake Neely brilliantly encompasses the suspense and thrill of the battle at sea throughout the film, paralleled to Hans Zimmer’s work on Dunkirk (2017) . The visual effects work on this film is also wonderfully done, bringing to life the many naval ships and action on the water during the Battle of the Atlantic. The acting in this film shines despite many of the actors being unknown.
The film’s acting lead Tom Hanks needs no introduction and this film fits in his already legendary filmography quite well. His performance is believable and empathetic, allowing us as viewers understand the presence a captain has on his ship in the heat of battle. Other notable names in the film, Stephen Graham and Elisabeth Shue, both deliver solid performances in their limited supporting roles.
This film draws many similarities to Christopher Nolan’s 2017 film Dunkirk. Both films build up tension and suspense through its score and plot, and do not rely on endless action scenes for the inevitable payoff. They are both concise and shed light on lesser known/portrayed acts of heroism in the second World War, and do it in a way not overly cinematic. Fans of Dunkirk and the war genre should most definitely give this film a watch as you will not regret it.
Rating – 8/10
Greyhound hits Apple TV+ on July 10, 2020