I am pulled in so many directions when it comes to Aaron Schneider and Tom Hank’s Greyhound. In the end, the storytelling and subject matter is worth watching, but there’s more that bothered me.
Just when you think every aspect of World War II has been explored (for which I am grateful), another new take on the Greatest Generation comes along. Earlier this year, Resistance gave us a mime who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis. In Greyhound, Tom Hanks played Captain Krause, the commander of the destroyer Greyhound, and tasked with escorting a convoy of vital supplies and soldiers to the Allies in the European theater.
The film’s drama comes in the premise that there are several days during the voyage when the convoy is unprotected by any kind of support or defense, particularly air cover. The war scenario of wolves and sheep is set between hidden German U-boats and the sitting-duck supply ships on the surface. Based on the novel by C.S. Forester, Greyhound covers the u-boat encounters during that single journey and informs us of the dangers naval sailors faced during the war.
“…several days during the voyage when the convoy is unprotected by any kind of support or defense…”
The story is set during the early months of U.S. involvement in WWII. Victory is uncertain as it would be months before the first Allied victory. Greyhound acts as a testament to the brave men placed in this vulnerable position and as an educational textbook on how sea battles were fought. The weapons of choice were torpedoes by the U-boats, and the convoy was equipped with guns, artillery, and depth charges—not a single computers and drones: just sonar, compass, paper, and math.
Needless to say, Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks. America’s father still has the respect and gravitas to play a military leader. So much so, that we’ll all probably lobby for his burial at Arlington. There’s no question regarding his ability to lead…in films, and he doesn’t disappoint. There are also great performances by Stephen Graham as his second-in-command, Charlie Cole. Then there’s your cast of red shirts, all working together to give us an authentic performance on a digital set. Drama and tension abound.
"…the entire film is through Krause’s advantage."