Tom Hanks stars in Finch, a post-apocalyptic movie blend of Short Circuit, Midnight Cowboy and Marley And Me, as he makes a road trip with his trusty dog and a handbuilt robot to San Francisco. The world has been ruined by climate change, and the UV can fry human flesh, as Hanks patrols the dust strewn streets as the titular Finch, a tech genius who is trying to cope with the onset of radiation and find food and nourishment both for himself and his canine companion – Goodyear, played by the fantastic Seamus.
He has already constructed a dog-like robot that helps him scavenge, but now his sights are set higher: a walking, talking robot that can look after his dog once he has inevitably gone. So, he uploads a wealth of knowledge and wisdom into Caleb Landry Jones’ tall, thin Deadpool-faced Jeff, a childlike creature who learns from his master. He is super strong but also naïve and desperate to please, unaware that other humans pose a threat. A road trip ensues as they try and evade terrible storms, heading for San Francisco, where nothing may await them, but Hanks has a postcard from his ‘uncle’ from there, so it seems as good a place as any.
Essentially a three-hander between man, robot and dog, Finch is a genial – if old-fashioned and predictable – tale of resilience and love in the face of overwhelming odds; of treasuring life and accepting adventure and the folly and hubris of humanity. Hanks is superb as a genial everyman with a mission and Jones embodies the familiar antics of Jeff, in a different enough way to make you forget about the versions of that character that have come before in other 80s and 90s sci-fi films. CGI Jeff is incredibly well-realized and integrated via motion capture and Hanks bounces well off him, keeping everything grounded and real.
Enjoyable and heartfelt, if not quite the full emotional rollercoaster it could have been, Finch is still a worthy watch and further confirmation of Hanks’ solid brilliance. And the dog is fabulous too.
Dir: Miguel Sapochnik (12) (115 mins)
Streaming on Apple TV+ now
words KEIRON SELF
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