In this crazy mixed-up world, there are still at least some things we can be sure of: death, taxes, and the sturdy, twinkling durability of Hanks. -19 couldn’t take him; even shuttered multiplexes are apparently no match for America's First Mate.
Could there be a more fitting choice to play the man whose near-impossible job it was to carry an Allied convoy safely across the North Atlantic, with a fleet of German U-boats in hot pursuit? That his (fictionalized) name is Ernest hardly seems like a coincidence; he’s decent to the core, a man who loves his girl ( Shue in a brief, soft-focus cameo), his God, and his country with a steadfastness that borders on saintliness.
There’s a lot of brusque nautical talk, sudden force, and only a little sentiment. Even its most rattling moments of violence tend to happen at some remove — secondary to the grim, methodical work of radar tracking and scrawled-out coordinates. (Rarely has the swooping arc of a protractor on paper signaled the line between life and death for so many.)
Like them too, though, it largely forsakes backstory and deeper characterizations for the sweeping theater of war. The sailors surrounding Ernest, save his right-hand man Charlie (Boardwalk Empire's Graham), are mostly young and terrified, and vaguely interchangeable. At a brisk 80 minutes there's hardly time to allow much more for anyone, even the great Morgan (Just Mercy, Stranger Things) whose loyal mess-hall steward never quite gets the chance to transcend his heavy symbolism.
Greyhound arrives on Apple TV+ July 10.