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21 Jul 2020

Home Video Review: Apple TV+'s Greyhound,' Starring Tom Hanks, Is a Compelling World War II Flick

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Tom Hanks in Greyhound. Tom Hanks in Greyhound.

When Apple bought the distribution rights to Greyhound, the new Tom Hanks movie, and announced the film would be released via Apple TV+, my first thought was: “It must suck!”

This knee-jerk reaction was due in part to the utter disaster that is Artemis Fowl, the big-budget shitshow that Disney+ “gifted” to us as a streaming choice during the pandemic. That happened because the film was clearly terrible, and sending it to the streaming service had the appearance of a grand gesture during “these unprecedented times.” (Ugh … I’m getting really tired of those three words.)

Fortunately, Greyhound, with the screenplay penned by Hanks himself, is a solid World War II thriller that actually seems better-suited for home viewing: It’s not a grand-enough spectacle to cut it as a blockbuster, but it is a solid 91 minutes spent in close quarters with the most famous person yet to catch the coronavirus.

Greyhound chronicles the real-life odyssey of the USS Keeling, code name Greyhound, an escort for a convoy of supply ships heading across the Atlantic toward Liverpool during the war. The ship is targeted by German U-boats, as are other members of the convoy, and Greyhound, captained by Commander Ernest Krause (Hanks), must go into protect mode. They fight a brave battle, and not all of the ships will make it.

The movie stands alongside the likes of Das Boot and Crimson Tide as solid entertainment spent inside a tin can passing for a floating arsenal. Director Aaron Schneider provides some excellent torpedo thrills and does decent work with a relatively modest budget. Hanks is Hanks—which means he’s terrific.

Apple scored a good one with this film. I’m sure they will have an Artemis Fowl-style dud or two in their future, but Greyhound proves that having Apple TV+ is starting to be worth the money.

Greyhound is now streaming on Apple TV+.

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