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Finch Review: Tom Hanks Is A One-Man Wonder In Heartrending Dystopian Sc-Fi

Post-apocalyptic dramas often make for great and arresting cinema, delving into the concepts of human perseverance, along with the beauty and terror of existence in a world bereft of hope. These notions have been explored with great depth in survival science fiction offerings such as Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and John Krasinski’s fairly recent installment, A Quiet Place Part II. Tom Hanks is no stranger to helming one-man survival dramas, as he brilliantly embodied the role of Chuck Noland in Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away, wowing audiences with his profound, showcased performance. Hanks recreates this magic in Miguel Sapochnik’s Finch, set in a post-apocalyptic world wherein survival is an everyday challenge, raising seminal questions about what it truly means to be human. Perfectly balancing tense drama with charming humor, Finch highlights the best and worst of humanity, and a robot-dog friendship worth remembering.

In the aftermath of a massive solar flare devastating life on Earth, humanity in Finch is driven to the extremities of survival, although most of them perish due to intense ecological damage. Covered almost entirely in sand, this post-apocalyptic wasteland is often subjected to massive dust storms, which further sever makeshift modes of electricity and communication that the survivors manage to put together. One such survivor is Finch (Hanks), a robotics engineer who has been living in an underground bunker for more than a decade, along with his dog Goodyear and a tiny, rudimentary robot, Dewey. Venturing outside to scavenge for scarce resources like food and supplies, Finch realizes that his dwindling health would soon render him unable to do so, as he has been exposed to high levels of radiation over the years. In order to ensure a safer, better future for Goodyear, his only companion, Finch starts developing a fully-functional robot that can take care of the dog after he is gone.

RELATED: How Tom Hanks' New Movie Finch Is Different From Cast Away

The creation of the robot, later named Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones), is rather fascinating to witness, as it is pretty funny and endearing to watch him learn and mimic tasks such as walking, running, and computing his prime directives. Soon after, a deadly storm hits the area, forcing the group to keep moving in an RV, navigating the scorching heat and unforgiving climate, along with lurking threats from other survivors with not-so noble intentions. Setting the Golden Gate Bridge as their ultimate destination, Finch becomes more urgent in his goal of making Jeff adept enough to look after Goodyear, no matter what the situation calls for.

Finch is a journey into the recesses of the soul, the pitfalls of humanity, and how far one is willing to go in order to protect those they cherish. The result is a mix of beauty and terror, and a plethora of moments that brim with emotional richness, as the conversations between Jeff and Finch manage to evoke genuine sentiments without an ounce of pretense. While Hanks is wonderful as the fiercely determined, flawed, and often impatient Finch, it is Jeff who helps keep the survival drama grounded with a balance of humor and pathos.

Despite being nuts and bolts, Jeff’s natural development of empathy, and a growing curiosity into the questions of identity and self, helps pose deeper questions about life itself. Even during a global scenario of complete catastrophe, why do humans turn on each other and resort to deceit and violence, when empathy and collective strength are viable options? Why, indeed, is the human race so driven by selfishness, even at the brink of extinction? While these questions have no tangible answers, Finch chooses to ultimately focus on the miracle of a high-functioning android being unflinchingly loyal to a four-legged animal - a premise so wholesome and pristine, yet tinged with a sort of all-encompassing sadness.

Finch, and the very fabric of the film, are undoubtedly weighed down by the unbearable pain of unfulfilled promises and memory, outweighed by the dream of a future in which Goodyear can play happily in the sun, playing fetch and chasing butterflies. Is Finch able to ensure the fulfillment of this dream before his inevitable demise? This question is more than enough for audiences to want to experience Finch in all its highs, lows, terrors, and wonders - a heart-wrenching, endearing tale about man’s best friend(s), the limitless potential of hope, and the true meaning of loyal companionship.

NEXT: Tom Hanks and His Dog Brave the Apocalypse in Finch Movie Trailer

Finch is set to be released on Friday, November 5, 2021, on Apple TV+. The film is 115 minutes long and rated PG-13 for brief, violent images.

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