Viewed – 14 July 2020 Apple TV+
Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks is the latest name to appear exclusively on a streaming platform and shows that the digital medium and subscription services are making quite the impact. This based-on-true-events WWII drama has Hanks as a commander of an American warship given the unenviable task of escorting a fleet of ships across the ocean in 1942. However, they are not safe in the waters as a group of German U-Boats make an appearance.
A fairly simple setup paves the way for 90 minutes of gradually building tension as Hanks attempts to out-wit the Germans over several days before air support can arrive. The movie felt very authentic from the off, with plenty of I’m guessing realistic naval terms, that I’ll confess went a little over my head. Hanks as expected, is mesmerising and delivers a highly nuanced performance of a man with no small degree of humanity in the face of war and death. Support comes from Stephen Graham and Elizabeth Shue, both of which get very little to do, which goes to highlight this movie’s only failing … that of fairly one dimensional support characters, although the movie still managed to make me care, despite a lack of personality. Battles are visceral and heart-pounding and effects work throughout is decent, which delivers a real foreboding scale to the action.
Not as epic as similar fair but this is right, to the point and effective. Even if Hanks wasn’t in this, I would still have found it edge-of-the-seat stuff, but he does elevate it still and because of that I give this a firm recommendation. Just a shame it’s Apple TV exclusive because it surely deserves a wider audience.
Yeah this thing is just going to disappear pretty fast from the wider public whose attention it possibly deserves, unless it winds up on DVD etc in a few months. I don’t like this streaming age with its exclusivity and paywalls etc. Its just the way things are, I know, but who can really afford to subscribe to all these services, with more on the horizon?
I always remember Mad Men having huge several million viewers on BBC2, then after season one (or was it two?) the rights moved to Sky because they had deeper pockets than the BBC, which was fine for the studio etc I guess, but the viewing figures plummeted to the hundreds of thousands, hardly doing the IP much good. I caught the series on Blu-ray each year but that’s not always going to be an option, and I really do think the IP suffered from the quick cash grab.
Who’s really going to remember Greyhound in six months time, and how many are actually going to see it?