Greyhound (2020) – Review

Greyhound is available to stream beginning July 10 on Apple TV+.

By I. Simon

With COVID-19 upon us, many films have either 1) been delayed indefinitely by their distributors, 2) were dropped directly onto VOD by their distributors, or 3) were sold off by their distributors to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+. One of the films that falls into the third category is Greyhound, a Word War II-era film that is so hollow and trite to the point where one can’t help but feel that Sony sold it off to Apple not just because of COVID-19, but because they had little confidence in the film to begin with.

The biggest problem with Greyhound might just be how dull and uninspired it is, as director Aaron Schneider and Tom Hanks’ screenplay, despite a few attempts to be something different, fail to break away from the typical war genre formula and instead end up sticking to many of the grating clichés that usually come with the genre, including but not limited to: characters who are little more than cardboard cutouts, weak dialogue, a generic score, unneeded text occasionally popping up on the screen, and superficiality pretending to be something deeper. It doesn’t help that the CGI is borderline horrendous, the war sequences themselves are not very well staged, and any attempts to give Hanks’ character depth completely fall flat.

The film isn’t without merit, including a good Tom Hanks performance and a decent supporting cast (though Elisabeth Shue is terribly underutilized), but they can’t elevate Greyhound from being painfully generic and insipid. If anything, Greyhound is further proof that the war genre (or at least World War II-era films) should’ve ended with Dunkirk. After all, they won’t be able to top Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece.

I give Greyhound a C-.

James Anderson