Epic Humanity: Our Review of ‘Greyhound’ on Apple+

Epic Humanity: Our Review of ‘Greyhound’ on Apple+

There are many different perspectives on the horrors of war…

Greyhound takes us back into the conflict of World War II as writer and star Tom Hanks gives audiences an absolutely compelling chase thriller that took place far too often on the Atlantic during these times.

In the early days of WWII, an international convoy of 37 Allied ships, led by captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) in his first command of a U.S. destroyer, crosses the treacherous North Atlantic while hotly pursued by wolf packs of Nazi U-boats.

You loyal readers here at In The Seats obviously know and share our love of the theatrical experience that we’ve been denied these past few months in the midst of the current health crisis and pandemic.  However in the now almost 4 months that we’ve been on varying degrees of social distancing and lockdown; Greyhound is actually the first film that has made me miss the shared experience of the cinema.

With director Aaron Schneider at the helm for his first feature effort in 11 years, we get an effort that is surprisingly lean and efficient as it quickly jumps into the North Atlantic on a stressful passing that happened quite a bit during the war.  We have never heard a lot about these passing’s in the history books (or even in films on the war) but this film effectively cuts the chafe and any kind of “rah-rah” flag waving and gets down to the task at hand as we see these heroic men traverse an essential no man’s land on the water when they had no air cover.  The effects are well done and the set up of the story really gives it all a very epic and truly cinematic feeling.

Given Tom Hanks history in exploring stories centered around World War II, it wouldn’t have surprised a soul to see this as a three hour movie or eight part miniseries at some point, but coming in at a tight 91 minutes, this film sets up its characters with a little bit of drama to keep us motivated but it wastes no time in dropping us into the action.  Hanks’ script is tight and mostly focuses on his character and the struggles of making this kind of treacherous crossing on the Atlantic for the very first time. It’s a solid performance as he knows the character inside and out.

While we’ve never read the book by C.S. Forester that this was adapted from (The Good Shepherd) we can only assume that this story of ship captains faced with the task of going through these dark waters with little to no support is where he ultimately drew the inspiration for his character Captain Krause.

Greyhound is less a film about war and more about a man AT war and that’s what kind of makes it epic.  None of the men who made these perilous crossings over the years have ever really gotten any kind of due for their efforts.  The film never tries to portray them as heroes, which is kind of what makes them exactly that.  It’s about finding faith in the shared desire for not only survival, but for self assurance that the job is done…and done well.  It’s simple, yet epic humanity on display which could have used the big screen but will still be incredibly effective on the small screen.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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