Greyhound review – a WWII story that lacks energy and imagination

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 7, 2020 (Last updated: December 8, 2023)
Apple TV+ film Greyhound


Its reliance on the star lead defeats the objective of the war achievement — Greyhound has got this terribly wrong.

Apple TV+ film Greyhound will be released on the platform on July 10, 2020.

A little rumour has spread that Tom Hanks is not entirely satisfied with his latest film getting the Apple TV+ treatment because he believes Greyhound looks better on the big screen. Despite being pro-streaming, after experiencing the war film, I have to agree.

And that’s because Greyhound has all the cinematic and action-led scenes that would boom an auditorium — the film was clearly built to be an event rather than a feature, glossing the audiences with set pieces.

By being on a streaming platform, Greyhound is exposed — it fails to live up to the expectations brought on by its dramatic trailer.

Inspired by true events during WWII, Greyhound follows Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks), who is leading an international convoy of 37 ships on a dangerous mission across the Atlantic to deliver soldiers and supplies to the allies.

At the start of the film, it markedly provides a plot point to emotionally engage the audience — Captain Krause has a love interest that hangs in the balance due to the war. For the rest of the film, this had no bearing at all — it has all the hallmarks of lazy writing.

And what follows, unfortunately, is hammy performances that centralize Tom Hanks’s character. It feels like the cast was overwhelmed somehow, making Tom stick out like a sore thumb as he hastily shouts out commands and then in one scene randomly asks a crewman to get his slippers for his sore feet — strangely, this was my favourite scene.

There’s something not quite right with the camera and the positioning of Greyhound. It suffers from limiting the scope in a wide environment, refusing to use the vastness of the ship, and repeatedly circles Krause with his men.

It could be that we have been spoiled by intensely authentic-looking war films, making CGI-led set pieces for an entire movie seem underwhelming and undesirable. Its reliance on the star lead defeats the objective of the war achievement — Greyhound has got this terribly wrong.

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