As the coronavirus pandemic continues, more films have accepted their fate of digital-only releases. One of the latest originally made to be seen on the big screen is the World War II naval drama Greyhound.
Written, produced and starring Tom Hanks, Greyhound follows Captain Ernest Krause as he leads an international convoy of 37 ships filled with soldiers and supplies for Allied forces across a section of the Atlantic known as “The Black Pit.”
Inspired by true events of the Battle of the Atlantic, Greyhound puts viewers on deck in a tense, near-constant engagement with infamous German U-boats determined to sink as many Allied ships as possible.
"There is something happening every second, minute, it gives a sense of urgency, a sense of anxiety because it’s very difficult for the crew of that destroyer to know what’s going to hit them next," says Lake Effect’s film contributor Dave Luhrssen.
While Hanks’ character and ship are fictional, Luhrssen says you learn a bit about the real history of the fight to supply Great Britain and the naval warfare that took place in the Atlantic.
“If you like Tom Hanks, you’ll enjoy this movie for his performance and if you are a naval history buff, you’ll find very little to criticize," he says.
War films are usually seen as large epics with a focus on sprawling battles and heavy on the special effects, perfect for bigger screens. Films in the past years like Dunkirk or 1917 use every inch of theater screen, but Luhrssen says Greyhound does not suffer being released directly to Apple TV+.
“I think that the special effects, the destroyers rolling in the roiling ocean, is much less important than the confined environment in which Captain Tom Hanks and his crew are forced to deal with one situation after another,” he says. “Maybe seeing this on a small screen is actually in some way more effective in its confinement.”
You can read Luhrssen's full review of Greyhound here.