Greyhound, by Cameron J. Czaja

Here it is, yet another World War II film that Hollywood keeps churning out every year. I make it sound like I dislike the sub-genre, but on the contrary I do enjoy it quite a bit. I guess what I’m trying to say is that World War II has been featured in so many films that it’s hard to mine some originality from it. Greyhound, though, was something I was looking forward to because of Tom Hanks leading it, and it’s exclusively on AppleTV+ which is a streaming service that I’m trying to get the most out of. Was this World War II film worth watching? Let us find out.

In Greyhound, we are introduced to Commander Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks), a naval officer who been given an assignment to escort several ships from the United States to Liverpool. The ship he’s been given command of is the USS Keeling, codenamed Greyhound, and its his first command. Throughout the journey in the Atlantic Ocean the mission seems to be going smoothly and Krause is feeling confident about it.  However, things start to go wrong when they encounter four German U-Boats who start attacking the convoy. From there Krause must do what he can to not only ensure the safety of the ships in the convoy, but also his own ship as they try to reach Liverpool. 

I’ll say this, while Greyhound is much better than the last World War II film I saw which was Midway (2019), it’s unfortunately also not as good as I hoped it could be, which is sad because of the potential it had. 

Unlike the two leads in Palm Springs, the main protagonists in Greyhound are extremely likable from the start. He begins and ends his day with prayer and tries to set a good Christian example on his ship. Surely, I thought, this alone will make this a very entertaining film from beginning to end. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Technically there wasn’t anything dull about it, but the big problem here is what I said earlier which is there’s nothing remarkable about it that separates it from other great World War II naval films. Definitely a case of been there done that. 

Despite that, though, Greyhound is an entertaining film once the action picks up.  During those moments, I was invested. Even though we don’t get to know most of the characters in the film, we do feel for them. This helped by Tom Hanks’s character because his emotional response sells it and throughout we want him and his crew to succeed against the German U-Boats. 

Overall, Greyhound doesn’t bring anything new to the World War II genre, but it has very entertaining moments scattered throughout. At an appropriate running time of ninety-one minutes, it is worth a view (especially if you have AppleTV+) and I would see it for the exciting naval moments.

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