“Acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy path.”
Without question, Tom Hanks is our movie dad. From Big to Forrest Gump, Hanks
has always been there for us as the epitome of the affable everyman - one
who carries with him a sense of warmth that just makes you feel safe, whenever
he’s onscreen. Even if the situations in which his characters find themselves are
dire, he’s the one who ushers in peace, with his softly spoken voice and
thoughtful musings. He’s also just about the only actor whose presence can elevate
a film’s quality, and such is the case with his flawed WWII naval epic, Greyhound.
It’s seaworthy, but Hanks himself is the component which really keeps the
engine running, in his role as a ship’s captain, but also a committed Christian –
an unexpected, but welcome surprise.
Narratively speaking, Greyhound is almost as simplistic a war film as one
could imagine: Commander Ernest Krause (Hanks) of the United States Navy,
is tasked with spearheading a convoy of 37 Allied ships, as they sail for Liverpool (UK). It’s all about getting from point A, to point B without incident. However, in-between both points, lies the “Black Pit”, the Mid-Atlantic gap in which air support is no longer available to the Allies, and German U-boats prowl the ice-cold seas, like a pack of wolves. Against all odds, Krause must strive to protect every soul who serves under him – despite this being his first wartime command and the constant threats coming from some sinister radio transmissions…
But curiously, these same villains which pursue Krause’s ships are led by a slippery, menacing U-boat, with a wolf symbol, painted onto its hull. It stalks the convoy, appearing and attacking when they least expect it, or when the allied group shows a sign of weakness. This wolfpack tactic reminded me of the schemes of the devil, who the Bible teaches is a cunning enemy:
like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, NLT)
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross."
- Why not prayerfully invite a friend or family member who doesn’t yet know Jesus, to watch Greyhound for themselves? Use the film’s themes to ask them what they thought of the film, if they spotted any links to Christianity and what they might think of the Gospel’s response to this subject.
- If you feel able to, ask them what they think they are worth to God – do they think that they’re important to Him, and if yes/no, why? You could then ask them what they think about God sending Jesus to be their Saviour who was resolute in His task to save and draw us to relationship with Him. If they're open to hearing it, take an opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel message with them.
Prior to watching the film for yourself, however, take a moment to pray that God would speak to you through the film. If you feel comfortable, pray this prayer over all of your future, film-watching experiences:
Dear Lord, As I watch this film, I ask that you would be present here with me. Highlight to me anything within it that is honourable, anything that can be used in conversation for your Kingdom purposes. Amen.
Greyhound is now available to stream exclusively on Apple TV+