Greyhound is the ship leading the way for a convoy of Allied ships on their way to the Liverpool, known as Convoy HX-25, carrying troops and supplies to assist in the war effort in February 1942. The convoy consists of 37 ships, escorted by 4 light warships and led by… yep, you guessed it.
The problem comes when they’re in an area known as the ‘Black Pit’, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, beyond the range of air cover, and subject to attacks from German U-boats. One problem is that Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood) has never led a command before. Still, you’ve got to start somewhere.
As we join Krause at the helm, it’s Wednesday morning and they have 50 hours before air cover support returns to them on the other side of the ‘pit’.
Greyhound is one of many films that was due to be released soon after the worldwide lockdown, and they could’ve held on to it for as long as it took, especially since it has a huge budget of $50.3m, but the decision was taken to premiere it on Apple TV+, instead, so it’s certainly a coup for them.
At 91 minutes, it’s high time we had films of this length again. Far too many ramble on for well over two hours when they could lose a good third of that running time.
Plus, one piece of advice, right off the bat, is that you should put the subtitles on, since all too often, the constant chatter is obscured by the explosions and other sound effects going on, endlessly.
Along the way, escort ships Eagle and Harry are out of position and six hours off-course, the fleet come across a U-boat which is trying to bring them down, and Stephen Graham – who can pull it out of the bag quite often, such as in the recent series, The Virtues – turns up to put in one of his low-effort American accent performances.
However, while there’s a lot of problems for the crew of Greyhound, the problem for me is that it’s just not particularly interesting. They and their convoy are targeted time and time again, but you just see and hear men on the titular ship bleating out bearing degree numbers and how far an incoming missile is from them, and while people panic at times, you really don’t feel it because you’re not engaged in it.
Part of this is because the Germans show up every so often, cause some fatal kerfuffle for some of the convoy, and rinse & repeat. It has such a leaden and perfunctory script, they really should have a word with the person who adapted it from the novel into the screenplay, which was… ah, Tom Hanks.
Also, unless I had an early print of this film (and it wasn’t labelled as such), the CGI is pretty ropey and I can’t see where the $50m was spent.
In short, have this lame Greyhound put out in the yard, and watch Crimson Tide again, instead!
Greyhound is released on Apple TV+ on Friday July 10th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
However, you can buy the novel, The Good Shepherd, on which the film is based.
Running time: 91 minutes
Release date: July 10th 2020
Director: Aaron Schneider
Producer: Gary Goetzman
Screenplay: Tom Hanks
Novel: CS Forester
Music: Blake Neely
Captain Ernest Krause, commander of the USS Keeling: Tom Hanks
Charlie Cole, Krause’s second-in-command: Stephen Graham
Cleveland, the head chef: Rob Morgan
Evelyn Krause: Elisabeth Shue
Lopez: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo
Eppstein: Karl Glusman
Lieutenant Watson: Tom Brittney
Forbrick: Joseph Poliquin
Wallace: Devin Druid
Eagle: Maximillion Osinski
Signalman #1: Grayson Russell
Boatswain’s Mate #1: Dave Davis
Lieutenant Carling: Michael Benz
LTJG Dawson: Travis Przybylski
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.