Movie Reviews become ceremonial if it stars Tom Hanks, but read on to know how everything else works out in this one.
My Rating for this Movie – 3.5 out of 5
Greyhound Movie Review Synopsis
After 2019’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood comes Greyhound, Tom Hank’s contribution to the pandemic riddled world in 2020.
28th February, 1942. Allied Merchantmen and Oil Tankers had to cross over from US to Liverpool, carrying supplies for the troops fighting the War on he continent. Due to the length of the crossing, and technological limits on the Planes’ flying range at that time, a part of the North Atlantic, which would take approximately 48 hours to cross, could not be provided air cover, by either the RAF or the USAF.
This is the setting of the movie, known as the Battle of the Atlantic, during World War II. A fleet of 37 ships (code-named convoy HX-25) set off for this crossing, their escort being led by USS Keeling (Greyhound – radio call-sign). commanded by Cdr. Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks), accompanied by the British destroyer HMS James (Harry), Polish ORP Viktor (Eagle) and Canadian Corvette HMCS Dodge (Dicky).
The challenge is to make the crossing of the Black Pit without losing too much, as that is where the German U-Boats lie in wait to sink the American supply ships – which would cripple the US’ battle efforts on the continent. This being Cdr. Krause’s first combat outing, a certain amount of battle hardened ruthlessness seems to be missing from the Captain’s demeanour. But the real mettle of the man, becomes evident as the movie progresses.
As expected, a pack of six German U-Boats, circle the fleet as soon as the US Air cover withdraws and the Black Pit starts. Led by one with the call sign Gray Wolf, they sink a tanker and other merchantmen, but Cdr. Krause relentlessly pursues them in an effort to hunt them down and regain British Air cover without too much damage. The taut battle rages through the night and day, led by the combat inexperienced, but gritty Cdr. Krause.
Gray Wolf: [on radio] Greyhound, good luck surviving the nightGerman U Boat to Greyhound
A torpedo brushes past his ship, he refuses to eat anything as the drama unfolds, resolutely leading his men through the vulture pack of the German submarines. If I give out any further details of the story, you wouldn’t have to watch it! Neither is that the intention of this Movie Review.
Directed by Aaron Schneider, it is based on the ’50s novel The Good Shepherd by CS Forester. Screenplay is by Tom Hanks himself and other notable cast members are Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan and Elisabeth Shue – as the would-be Mrs. Krause. For authenticity, a large part of the film was shot in an actual World War II destroyer (now obviously decommissioned) – the USS Kidd in Louisiana. Much of the ship was restored to near original glory, and the knobs and dials that you see the crew operating. in the movie, are actual knobs and dials, made to work. The guns, aboard USS Kidd, were also restored, so much so, that the ship actually vibrated when mimicking firing the cannons!
In a grim reminder of the painful effects of war, the film reminds us that more than 72,000 lives were lost in the North Atlantic theater alone! For the sake of all humanity, one can only wish – NEVER AGAIN!
Conclusion of the Movie Review
The movie is well made and eminently watchable because of Tom Hanks’ calming presence at the helm (literally!). A run-time of 90 minutes is just right. But, honestly, this is not Oscar material, countless similar stories have been told, and to much better effect. But, just watch it for Tom Hanks, if nothing else!