Miguel Sapochnik directs everyman Tom Hanks through another lone-man performance in Finch from Apple TV +. In Finch, a man, a robot, and a dog form an unlikely family as the man goes on a quest to ensure that his beloved canine companion will be cared for after he is gone. After a cataclysmic solar event, Finch, a robotics engineer, is one of the few survivors left in the wasteland of a world.
Finch has lived in an underground bunker for a decade, and in that time, he has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, voiced by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive.
Naturally, their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as tricky for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world. Miguel Sapochnik has not directed a feature-length film since 2010’s Repo Men, as Sapochnik has spent that time, instead, working in television helming episodes for series such as Game of Thrones, Iron Fist, and House. That said, Finch is a decent return to features for Sapochnik.
Movies with one actor are not a new thing. Sometimes the results are significant (i.e., Buried with Ryan Reynolds), or they can be a colossal misstep like Andy Warhol’s Sleep. Thankfully, Craig Luck and Ivor Pow’s script for Finch avoids the tropes of other post-apocalyptic science fiction drama and relies on the strength of Hanks.
A valid argument is that Finch is merely just a rehash of Hank’s 2000 hit Cast Away. However, I found the films vastly different. The most significant difference is that Hanks has the chance to hear and interact with someone who can provide dialogue back, as opposed to an inanimate object. The back and forth between Finch and Jeff is the heart of the film and, honestly, the reason to give it a one-time view.
I will say that perhaps having Caleb Landry Jones portray Finch and Hanks voice Jeff would have been fantastic to see. However, given the skill it takes to pull off a one-person on-screen performance, maybe the studio did not want to take a chance on Jones. Nevertheless, Hank’s natural everyman persona radiates enough to carry Finch to the finish line.
Final Grade: B
Finch is available to stream on Apple TV + tomorrow, November 5th .