Remember the old expression “Come hell or high water?”

Well, our hero, Capt. Krause, here finds himself in both of them.

The captain’s job is to risk his life and those of his young crew to protect a fleet of 37 Allied cargo and troop ships from certain death. Can he pull it off? Of course he can. Capt. Krause, under all that navy blue and steel helmets, is, wait for it, wait for it:

Tom Hanks.

Krause is in command of a tough but creaky looking destroyer that looks like it was pulled out of mothballs just for this journey, which in fact it was.

He finds himself and his early 20-something old crew in the middle of the North Atlantic, full of stormy waters and packs of German Uboats.

All of us, boys and girls, know from the moment Hanks appears on scene, that everything will turn out okay.

We sit back with our beer and popcorn and breathe easily, because Hank’s characters don’t lose. Well, there was “Private Ryan” and “Philadelphia,” but Hanks didn’t write those scripts as he did this one.

In “Greyhound,” director Aaron Schneider unleashes hell on the high seas, and does it with flair and fire.

It’s probably 1942 when Winston Churchill begged FDR for help. The Germans (not Nazis, there were few political Nazis on Uboats) were closing in and it looked bad. So Roosevelt sent the help, providing troopships and back up Navy armament.

That’s all background noise. We don’t care. We’re here to get troops and firepower across the Atlantic, and we want oceans of excitement.

We’re on board here with a fresh-off-the-vine officer taking his first command. We’re not sure what action he’s seen. He was probably second in command somewhere, but we’re only in the first wave of chaos and this is his game.

“Greyhound” is only, minus credits, 82 minutes long. Can you hold your breath for 82 minutes? Give it a try, because Schneider and his gang throw everything at us but the kitchen sink, and some of the torpedoes look just that size.

The first 15 minutes, including a scene with Krause and his girlfriend (Elizabeth Shue) at the beginning are slow, virtually meaningless. Then, when the action starts, water action like we’ve never seen in any Naval war movie, never stops.

Krause, in his baptism of fire, has to improvise his moves, depending on how the commanders of German subs perform.

All this, while under the constant gaze of his crew who know that this is Krauses’ first command, and they all seem to be muttering under their breath —

“He’s gonna get us killed.”

“Does this guy know what he’s doing?”

The camera constantly flicks from sweating face to frozen face, when Krause gives an order.

We learn early on that when he gives an order it has to be repeated down the line from him to six others to the command center below, and it has to be repeated without even one syllable missing.

In one tense scene, and there aren’t any other kind here, a young sailor sneezes in the process of repeating a crucial command. The officer beside him snaps. “Are you going to do that again?”

“No sir.”

“Good, or you’ll be relived of your job.”

With Blake Neely’s constant, pounding music in our ears and Shelly Johnson’s (“Captain America”) incredible, jumping, flying, soaring camera commanding our attention, director Schneider and the 600 or more special and visual effects teams work to raise our blood pressure.

It’s not important to reflect on the stunning fact that all of the film was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on board the USS Kidd, an old boat that should be on the bottom of the Mississippi.

Schneider has revealed how the movie was made without any water. When you watch, it will be impossible to imagine such a feat.

“The movie uses a combination of CGI, photogrammetry, and gamer tech to make the ocean battles look real. That’s impressive given the entire movie is based around a battle at sea,” Schneider said.

“Greyhound,” was written for the screen by Hanks and taken from C.S. Forester’s novel “The Good Shepherd.”

“Greyhound” now showing on APPLE/TV.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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