Greyhound is a very odd film. Usually with feature films, there’s a clear story and both character and story arcs. This film is odd because it seems to forgo both of those things. Greyhound doesn’t feel like a well told story, instead it feels like the audience is dropped in the middle of one and only told about half of that story. I constantly felt like instead of being involved with these people and this story, I was just from the outside looking in. While there are certainly quality aspects here, overall I was let down.
Tom Hanks, who plays the film’s lead, is always good and his performance here is skilled and believable – in a few scenes especially. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad Hanks performance actually and I don’t know that I ever will. He’s an extremely skilled actor. Another positive is that the supporting cast members all give fairly good performances as well. The actors’ capabilities is not what sinks this ship.
Something else that I thought worked very well was one scene where an on deck group funeral of sorts takes place and I thought that brought a bit of sobering reality to everything. Taking a moment to recognize the devastating lethal consequences of war was smart.
Other than those things, I really wasn’t a fan of anything else. But before I go into what hinders this film, I want to mention the visuals. With any film that centers around war or battle, the visuals are a pretty important aspect of the film. I wouldn’t put this films visuals in the good or bad category but instead in the so-so category, there wasn’t anything too spectacular about them but they weren’t poorly done either… they were just alright.
My biggest complaint for this movie is that it doesn’t feel like a feature film. Like I said, it feels a lot like we’re just dropped in the middle of everything with no introduction to what’s really happening or who these people are. There’s no development to much of anything and I hate that because it becomes very hard for me to feel involved and interested when there isn’t any background.
What story is told unfortunately feels very dull and lifeless. A lot of it is communication back and forth between the captain and crew members or between the captain and other ships. There is a lot more of that than there is action or war sequences and that isn’t a very good thing when you’re dealing with a war film that is an hour and twenty minutes.
When there is action and firing between ships, it doesn’t feel that thrilling or epic in scale. Everything just feels lackluster and boring. In fact, I checked how much longer the film had quite a bit just because it never seems to grab you.
I never really felt engrossed or drawn in by what was going on. In order to engross and pull in your audience’s interest you must have characters that we care about and a story that has the capacity to drum up intrigue. Greyhound simply has none of that.
The film has an unusually short runtime of an hour and twenty minutes without the closing credits and I think if they would have written a longer film and added some depth to both the story and the characters… this could’ve been a winner. Also, if you aren’t knowledgeable of military terminology, a good portion of the dialogue in many scenes will be meaningless. I’m certainly not versed in that so I just had to do my best at keeping up with what people were saying to one another.
I wish I had better things to say about this film but unfortunately I don’t. Greyhound is a pretty big let down and to be honest I would have preferred to re-watch Midway.
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