If you’ve got the Apple TV+ streaming service, you can see Greyhound, a Tom Hanks starring and written (yes, he was the screenwriter!) film, which was never released to theaters. A victim of COVID, no doubt.
Here’s the pretty damn exciting -to me anyway- trailer:
Watching this once again as I’m typing, I remember my initial excitement upon seeing it and the eagerness I had to see the film proper. The subject matter intrigued me and the effects looked pretty damn good.
Alas, I didn’t have the Apple TV+ service and frankly have enough streaming services as it is. I don’t have the free time to watch so much damn TV nor was I interested in spending yet more money on another streaming service.
Besides, the film was bound to make it to other formats before long, no?
Three years passed and it appears Apple is intent on keeping this movie within its streaming umbrella. I don’t believe either a physical or digital copy of the film is available for purchase.
So it appeared I’d have to wait a while to see the film. However, a few months back I upgraded my cell phone and included in the upgrade was the Apple TV+ streaming service for free.
It would take me a few months from when I got it to finally find the free time but I searched the service and finally got around to watching Greyhound.
Was it as impressive as the trailer made it seem? Was it worth the long wait?
Everything that was good about the film is encapsulated in that trailer. There are good effects and some damn good action sequences which revolve around Hank’s Captain Crause leading the Greyhound, a destroyer escort leading a convoy of supply ships across the Atlantic during World War II while facing off against a “wolfpack” of German submarines.
Here’s the problem, though: That’s pretty much all the film is, one action sequence after another with minimal characterization.
The camera almost exclusively follows Tom Hank’s character and everyone else is relegated to the background. For some reason the film opens with Hank’s character meeting up with Elisabeth Shue’s Evelyn, his wife or girlfriend and then leaving her for the command. Ms. Shue is in the film for something like two minutes, if that.
That and the fact that he’s a religious man who prays before meals and (MILD SPOILERS) prays after everything is over are pretty much all we get in terms of depth (no pun intended) of character.
Otherwise the movie’s dialogue consists of variations of “Hard right rudder!” or “Hard to starboard” while other more minor characters echo Hank’s command.
So while we have minimal characterization and technojargon for dialogue (for the most part), the film does admittedly deliver some thrills with the many battles between Greyhound and the nefarious wolfpack, who very improbably actually radio Greyhound and taunt them while attacking.
I would ultimately recommend this film but with the caveat that it is for those who want to see some exciting high sea action sequences but aren’t put off by a film that has near zero actual characterization.
Greyhound is a decent work but compared to something like Das Boot, it could’a been better.