Thursday, August 20, 2020



In the early days of WWII, an international convoy of 37 Allied ships, led by captain Ernest Krause (Hanks) in his first command of a U.S. destroyer, crosses the treacherous North Atlantic while hotly pursued by wolf packs of Nazi U-boats.

Another piece of cinematic historical art that perfectly captures what it was like at that time to be on the North Atlantic Between North America and Europe, more importantly England who was holding up alone against the Nazis before the Americans fully committed to the war effort until after Pearl Harbor.

Tom Hanks of course is Tom Hanks doing what only he can do in these kind of beautiful movies. Who ever thought  Elizabeth Shue would play his girlfriend? Or is that the woman who turned down his proposal at Christmas before his first command. Yikes. That is cold blooded even for wartime.

The movie is dripping in those little period details and it's an impressive achievement. The cast is also an impressive lot of old pros and young newbies eager to be part of such an impressive production from Apple TV. It's filmed in a giant water tank and the illusion is impressive when combined with the other digital effects. If this was a video game I think I would play it and it would make a cool video game. You would have to learn what all the information being relayed means to be successful in your search and destroy mission. I thought about that the whole time I was watching this one.

Tom has certainly learned his seamanship and you can feel him feel his way around the ocean as he hunts for the U-Boats that are hunting the merchant vessels he is there to protect. Once the action starts you are IN the battle from the bridge and all the other confines onboard the lead destroyer of a great armada of vessels..

Lest I need to remind you, this is a war movie so young men will die. There will be afraid and look to one man to keep them alive. It's a heavy responsibility on a rolling piece of gunpowder. And Hanks works the entire ship/stage like a old pro. I could also see this story on stage with the right kind of production values. Again, something else I thought about while wrapped into all the realism.

I would love to see the alternate view from the perspective of the U-Boat crew ala Das Boat. In Greyhound the U-Boats are portrayed as sea monsters from the deep who only rise in those rare moments that also makes them most vulnerable. But the U-Boat doesn't have to fight the ice that builds up and damages their equipment.

The night falls and they can't see the other ships all around them. Pretty intense. At a lean 75 or so minutes it better be. I enjoyed this one. Another triumph for Tom Hanks and if you are a fan it's a must see film from a real pro. He has a way of making your proud to be an American, even though you aren't one.

No comments: