The Navy Is Trolling the Army Over Tom Hanks' New WWII Film

Tom Hanks commands a WWII destroyer in "Greyhound." (Apple TV+)

This article by Jared Keller originally appeared on Task & Purpose, a digital news and culture publication dedicated to military and veterans issues.

For a civilian actor with no real-life military history, Tom Hanks has seen a lot of action, from the blood-stained shores of Omaha Beach to the jungles of Vietnam.

But after years of portraying heroic soldiers, Hanks is finally stepping into a sailor's uniform — and the U.S. Navy couldn't be happier about it:

To be clear, Hanks has played characters with Navy associations before: Both astronaut Jim Lovell (“Apollo 13”) and former congressman Charlie Wilson (“Charlie Wilson's War”) are former naval officers, among other characters in Hanks' filmography with military connections.

But Hanks' new World War II drama “Greyhound,” which dropped on Friday on Apple TV+, is the first to see the actor helm a Navy warship — the fictional destroyer USS Keeling — as a full-blown commander.

Based on C.S. Forrester's 1955 novel “The Good Shepherd,” Hanks stars as the fictional Cmdr. Ernest Krause (likely a tribute to the 19th century Medal of Honor recipient of the same name) as he fights to escort a convoy of Allied supply ships across the Atlantic ocean with limited support during the early months of World War II.

Given Hanks' work on number war films and series over the years and his direct hand in authoring the script for “Greyhound,” it's no wonder the Navy is excited to see America's dad blow a bunch of Nazi subs out of thew water for an hour-and-a-half.

And so far, the Navy has every reason to be proud: the early reviews of “Greyhound” are relatively positive, earning the film a 79 percent critics rating and 80 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

"’Dunkirk’ or ‘1917,’ this is not," writes Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr. "But as a window onto an under-acknowledged arena of combat and a starting point for armchair military historians, “Greyhound” is seaworthy enough to make it across."

Congratulations to the Navy for what sounds like one of the best surface warfare movies since “The Hunt For Red October.” But remember: the Army had Hanks first!

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