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+.