Saturday, 11 July 2020

Greyhound (Movie Review)


It has become commonplace in today's current climate for events to get delayed or outright canceled. Everything from film festivals like SXSW to international sporting events like the Olympic Games have been affected one way or another. In the realm of Hollywood movies, we've had films like TENET and Mulan playing hopscotch together with their release date changes, so yeah, everything is kind of influx at the moment.

Greyhound is just the latest casualty of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Originally slated to come out on the 22nd of March before being delayed after theaters were closed, the film eventually found its new home on the Apple TV+ streaming service. But at a runtime of under 90 minutes, the movie feels like a perfect fit for online streaming, which is as much a comment on its overall quality as it is a compliment.

The movie stars Tom Hanks (who also wrote its screenplay) as Captain Ernest Krause, the captain of a World War II battleship leading a convoy of ships across the North Atlantic ocean. This is his first war-time mission, and as such the pressure to succeed is even greater. But his job becomes exponentially harder after they lose air cover and are pursued by a number of German U-boats.

I wish I could say more about the plot of the movie, but that's about all there was to it. The movie has very little story, and this contributes to the documentary-like approach its filmmakers have opted for. The film goes from one event onto another, so that by the time the credits start rolling, you can't help but feel a little short changed.

At best, Greyhound plays like a high-budget made for TV film, and at worst, a middle-of-the-road war movie. It is fast paced, whipping from one action setpiece to another with barely enough time for viewers to fully process all that is happening. Or care for that matter, which is the movie's greatest shortcoming. There is barely any time spent on character development, which makes it next to impossible to feel invested in their struggles when the torpedoes start flying.

Tom Hanks does what he can, but the next Saving Private Ryan this is not. And that is why it is hard for me to recommend Greyhound, especially coming off the heels of recent war movies like 1917, Dunkirk and Hacksaw Ridge. But if you like war movies in general, or more specifically naval warfare, then the movie definitely offers enough thrills and spectacle to keep you engaged from start to finish.

7 comments:

  1. That's a bummer. We were going to watch it tonight.

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    Replies
    1. I'd still say you should go ahead and give it a shot. For all its flaws, at least the movie never overstay its welcome.

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