Apocalyptic road trip movie Finch is for the most part as unenjoyable as an actual long-haul journey in a post-apocalyptic world would be. Its meandering plot is plagued with bland humour and clunky character building, and there are virtually no stakes in place to sustain the action beyond the opening act. However, a phenomenal performance from Tom Hanks leads to a touching conclusion and a moving destination for the trip to arrive at.
In a world transformed into an inhospitable desert wasteland by climate change, Finch (Hanks) must travel to safety alongside his canine and robot companions to avoid a colossal storm. Along the way, he teaches his new robotic creation – an expressionless pile of spare parts named Jeff (voiced by Caleb Landry Jones) – his rules for survival in this harsh new world. Meanwhile, Jeff slowly learns what it means to be alive. It’s very familiar territory, and the piece doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of storytelling.
The main reason that anyone would want to see this film is for Hanks, who is as wonderful as ever. Although his unshakable charm is unable to breathe further life into the blank, staring eyes of Jeff, his kindhearted smile and soft-spoken tones are what drive the minimalist plot forward. Likewise, it helps that the famed actor is interacting with physical puppets. At least this way the robot has some screen presence, even if it is rather annoying. As the plot reaches its conclusion, it’s Hanks who singlehandedly delivers the emotional weight the script was lacking until this point. Without the veteran actor’s talents, the finale would be as meaningless as the bulk of the movie.
There isn’t much to be said about Apple’s newest film because there simply isn’t that much to it to begin with. Finch is a derivative road trip affair that attempts to liven the drab plot with an oddball collection of characters and heavy-handed warnings about climate change. The movie’s only saving grace is a heartwarming performance from Hanks, and even that isn’t enough to salvage the wreckage of this post-apocalyptic nightmare.
Finch is released on Apple TV+ on 5th November 2021.
Watch the trailer for Finch here: