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Finch Movie Review

Finch (2021)

Watch Finch on Apple TV+
Written by: Craig Luck & Ivor Powell
Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
Starring: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Marie Wagenman
Rated: PG-13
Watch the trailer

On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a robot built to protect the life of his creator’s beloved dog learns about life, love, friendship, and what it means to be human.

It’s almost exactly what you’d expect based on the description. This is a plot you’ve likely seen before as the story is derivative. This doesn’t try to push the boundaries of post-apocalypse movies, instead recycling what’s already been produced. I like my post apocalypse movies dark, and this certainly isn’t, but I wish this were more interesting. There’s a lot of world building this skips, and there’s a disconnect with the robot’s purpose and how smart he is. This robot is a technological leap, but its purpose is to care for a dog. That should be the focus of the movie, but it’s not even addressed.
It depends.

Director Sapochnik is best known for directing many Game of Thrones episodes, though this isn’t even his first movie.

This is mostly Chappie with a bit of Wall-E where both were altered for the broadest possible mass appeal. This movie feels like a checklist of what will connect with viewers to attract the most attention. As a result, it’s bland. This doesn’t try to do anything new, make you think, or accurately portray how bleak the after of the end of the world would be.

I like the post apocalypse setting. This is certainly an interesting world and we first see Finch (Tom Hanks) scavenging in a world where the temperature has risen dramatically. This doesn’t delve into what happened to the world, how he still has electricity and fuel, or the current state of the world. This if focused on Finch and his AI robot.

Tom Hanks plays Finch

I’m not sure how the robot even has a baseline understanding of the world, other than Finch uploading encyclopaedia volumes to the robot, but that generates a lot of questions. We see the volumes in print format, and that would miss all of the social interaction and queues to function in the world. The movie could use this angle for the robot to know a lot of facts about everything for comedy, but it doesn’t do much with that.

The robot, Jeff

Finch and the robot are forced to take a cross country journey. Finch tries to teach the robot, gets annoyed at the robot, the robot has a redemption moment, and it’s all very generic. Finch expects too much from a robot that knows and has been taught so little. This robot was made to take care of a dog that’s quite old. If I was the robot I have an existential crisis. The robot wasn’t created as part of evolution, but self serving end game to care for a dog. The robot doesn’t need to be as smart as it is for that.

This feels like a movie I’ve seen before. There are plenty of interesting points to this movie, but they aren’t explored. There’s no reason to make the robot as smart as it is, and what a crisis that would be to realize that your creator had no great purpose for you. You exist to feed a and play catch with a dog. Despite the technological breakthrough this robot is, it doesn’t matter. That’s such an intriguing facet that is completely ignored. This uses the plot dynamic to create an odd couple type relationship just for the drama and resolves everything in the end. This has an open ending. There was more movie after this ending where the robot and dog find other humans but all of that was cut.


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