Finch takes us once more to the end of the planet. However, this classic post-apocalyptic journey on Apple TV Plus has two distinct selling points: Tom Hanks and robots.
Finch was supposed to be released in late 2020 with the title BIOS. Finch, which was purchased by Apple and renamed to be less ambiguously pronounced, is now available to watch on Apple TV Plus.
The movie begins with a standard setup. The world has gone, and an ostensibly lone survivor (Hanks’ titular Finch) loots a store, spray-paints it, and returns to his base, where we see the hardscrabble life he’s carved out for himself. From I Am Legend to A Quiet Place to Wall-E, it’s something you’ve seen before in every post-apocalyptic film.
When Hanks leaps into a large dump truck and storms down the street demolishing automobiles, the film takes on its own texture, albeit that delightfully physical tone doesn’t stay long. Hanks plays a meek engineer who keeps himself busy with a library of books in a safe silo in Cast Away mode, soft-voiced, shambling, and gray-whiskered.
Finch is a visual pleasure, thanks to a blend of wide vistas and brilliant CGI effects, directed by Emmy-winning Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik. But it’s also a rather intimate storey that, even if it hadn’t been pushed out of a planned theatre premiere due to pandemic disruption, would feel more at home on the streaming screen.
When a superstorm threatens Finch’s modest underground existence, the film’s second selling point comes into play. The film’s setting amid a blasted environment of a wrecked Earth draws comparisons to Wall-E. No, Finch has charming droids built by Tom Hanks to assist him in navigating life in this solar-flare-ravaged world. These ideas culminate in the construction of Jeff, a human-shaped bot created to accompany Hanks on a last-ditch road trip. Consider what might happen if Wilson the volleyball had CG legs.
The jerky, spindly robot has an orange dome for a face yet is brimming with personality. Caleb Landry Jones, an actor best known for playing quirky characters in films like Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, gives a motion capture performance as Jeff, an astonishing digital creation. Jones’ acting, combined with the visual effects team’s magic, imbues Jeff with a sweetly goofy demeanour, making him an appealing comedic sidekick for Hanks’ grouchy but avuncular character. Similar films like Netflix’s riveting thriller I Am Mother or the gloomy ’70s sci-fi classic Silent Running (mentioned here in the name of one of Hanks’ robots) feature additional personality-infused robots.