I think I’ve started this review of the latest Tom Hanks science fiction movie Finch at least a dozen times. I know what I want to say and how I feel about this movie but I have a problem with writing that. Mostly because Finch is a forgettable and bland post-apocalyptic experience. The script is just so safe and to quote some of the other reviewers feels like “it’s written by a committee”. They are trying to appeal to the broadest audience possible and end up appealing to no one. This is the first movie Ivor Powell and Craig Luck wrote and it shows. Not even the almighty Miguel Sapochnik could save a story this contrived. However, I don’t want you to think that there’s nothing here because there is.
Finch is an emotional, straightforward, and well-constructed movie. Depending on your taste and other things, it can even be moving. So, don’t think you’re lame or something else if you love it. It deals with life, death, the advent of technology, and many other interesting issues. All this is amplified by Tom Hanks’ stellar performance. Not that we expected any less from him. Shot during the pandemic, it relies heavily on the special effects, atmosphere, and locations, all of which are phenomenal. I still don’t get whether Jeff was a real robot or just CGI, especially considering what Boston Dynamics are doing these days. Their Atlas robot is fucking more agile than the one from this movie, just look at him doing parkour.
The year of our lord Satan is unknown but it really doesn’t matter as most of the world’s population has been wiped out. The solar flare kickstarted a chain of events that left just a couple of survivors and turned Earth into a bleak and dangerous wasteland. In this Wasteland lives Finch Weinberg, a robotics engineer who built himself quite a company. To him and his dog, to be more precise. However, a huge storm is coming and Finch will have to set off on a very dangerous journey across the United States.
As a jaded science fiction and post-apocalyptic fan, Finch came across to me as just too melodramatic and forced. This is why I felt nothing while watching this movie. I didn’t care about most of the characters, and especially Finch himself. He was a real asshole at times, something that I really wasn’t expecting. All this smells like boomer spirit of “toughening up” for the “cruel world” and other jibberish that certain members of that generation heralded as part of growing up. You could feel what they were trying to do with each scene and all the emotions they were trying to illicit. Almost none of this was done in a natural way but through a series of contrived setups. It felt like they were training a dog how to feel.
All the slapstick comedy with the robot would be funny to a five-year-old. However, it wouldn’t be funny to a teenager and this is a PG-13 movie. So, I really don’t see the clear idea behind this movie. It’s just a series of loosely connected events that we’ve seen a thousand times before. Let’s start with the ye olde guy and his dog setup first seen in the post-apocalyptic classic A Boy and His Dog. Although I am Legend starring Will Smith is probably a more familiar movie.
While we’re talking about seventies classics how about Damnation Alley, a movie where three guys drive a much cooler vehicle across the United States. A lot of the events we’ve seen in that movie are going to make a comeback in this one. However, we will not get that sweet, sweet Landmaster although that heavy hauler giant truck Komatsu 465 from the beggining of the movie was pretty cool.
Finally, if you’re thinking that I’m being hard on Finch just remember how good The Road was. Now that was a fucking masterpiece. Sure, the atmosphere is a bit more somber and dark but that’s just how things are after the apocalypse. So, you might wanna check out this movie but don’t expect much of it. And if you’re looking for something better check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Post-Apocalyptic Movies.
Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Writers: Craig Luck, Ivor Powell
Cast: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Oscar Avila, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Marie Wagenman
Fun Facts: The original title of this movie was Bios, I feel a much more approapriate and intruiguing choice.