This Greyhound Runs On Water

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Capt Krause (TOM HANKS) with crew on the lookout for German U-Boats in TriStar Pictures' GREYHOUND. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC. FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY. SALE, DUPLICATION OR TRANSFER OF THIS MATERIAL IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

By Paul Hall

Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. Over time, we have seen many stories of the battles of the war onscreen. The battlefields are well known and the airstrikes are legendary but less frequently we have seen the stories of those who served as personal protectors to the merchant ships supplying the Allied forces. Greyhound tells the story of one of these missions to reinforce the troops.

Capt. Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) has recently been promoted and put in charge of the Greyhound, a United States warship tasked with protecting a convoy of merchant ships crossing the Atlantic during multiple days without air cover. It is in those days that Krause and his crew are tested in skill and resolve. A wolf pack of German U-boats, including the Grey Wolf, has them in their sights and will stop at nothing to attack.

The journey is filled with wins and losses. Some of the confrontations are mere brief skirmishes, while others are extended battles that take place for hours. All of these encounters test Krause’s ability to lead his men through adversity.

His men equally admire his strength and determination while questioning whether he is overly invested and not taking care of himself like he should. The men on the Greyhound are a true cross section of those who served — they stumble and pick themselves back up, they look out for one another and when the call for all hands on deck is issued, they truly bring all hands on deck. But can they survive the barrage of attacks on the convoy and their own beloved ship?

A film that I just wish I could see on the big screen, Greyhound is a tightly wound 91 minutes of action with a brief build that quickly leads to intense moments on the high seas. Hanks is swift and in charge of the team and is able to — through simple body language and facial expressions — tell a story of a man on his first mission wanting to do everything right by his men, his God, and with respect to all. Hanks portrays a man who is obviously leading his first crossing and finding his sea legs in command. It is hard for new bosses to know when to take charge, and when to trust those around them in all walks of life. Hanks makes us relate to the captain’s drive, his fear and his faith.

Greyhound begs to be seen in the closest environment to a full-blown theater experience one can muster. Put it on the biggest screen in the house, turn the volume up and turn the lights out. Remember those who have come before us — not perfect men by any means, but men who had each others’ backs and truly put their lives on the line to keep the entire convoy safe.

Director Aaron Schneider delivers a film that is high on tension as it bounces between the vast ocean landscape to the tight quarters of a ship meant to run fast and protect men and machine. There is a true feeling of dread at the most notable times and subdued reflection at others. Over its brief runtime, Greyhound gives viewers a look at one story that dotted a war filled with countless tales that could be told. Its account of a little seen aspect of World War II is riveting and filled with moments of heroism and bravery.

Little victories and large ones take the efforts of many individuals. In war there are personal battles that need to be won along with the totality of the mission, and each person is important for its success. It takes everyone to survive to fight the next day, and each “next day” should be celebrated. It seems greyhounds run fast on land and water.

Paul’s Grade: B / B-

Greyhound
Rated PG-13
Stars: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue
Director: Aaron Schneider