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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Finch (2021)

You can't deny it, Tom Hanks is good at lonely. This is just Castaway but with more sand, if you can believe it. There is a dog and a robot involved, which makes this project more charming than you might originally imagine, such is the endearing relationships that the three of them create. It's not Fantastic Journey, granted, but it is still a journey nonetheless.

Little is made of the this singular human at the start of the film. We know very little apart from the fact that some cataclysmic event has made him (Finch/Hanks) the last person in the local vicinity, at least. It transpires that the ozone layer is full of holes and some electro-magnetic pulse occurred and bingo, ghost towns, everywhere. So now, most of the USA now appears to be covered in sand and Finch spends his days scavenging what he can from the now uninhabited buildings all around him, with the help of Dewey, his mobile robot helper on wheels.

His evenings, however, are spent in his bunker with his dog, aptly named, well, Dog, as he tries to create a new robot to help him in his daily quarries, but assigned specifically to look after the said canine, in Finch's absence.

When a huge new enduring storm appears to be coming their way, Finch decides that heading for San Francisco is the best bet, and so starts a buddy road trip unlike any other.

There appears to be a myriad of inspirations here, not least the aforementioned Castaway, but Wall-E too. An enterprising man trying to survive against the odds, befriends an unusual partner (it was Wilson the volleyball last time) but here it is Jeff, his most recent robotic creation, which is imbibed with more than its fair share of sentience.

Add to this the considered artificial intelligence, armed with Asimov's laws of robotics and innocent spoonful's of enthusiasm and curiosity. There are also elements of Chappie here too, as sometimes this robot seems to have a little more than you would naturally expect going on in the semiconductors.

One of my peers was heard saying, in regard to this and other Hanks projects, "in the apocalypse, being part of Tom Hanks' crew would suit me just fine." And in a nutshell, he made a salient point. Hanks is as good here as he has always been before, and time has aged him like a fine wine.

Excellent stuff, all told, which may not be what you're expecting when you watch the trailer, but there is bags of heart and soul in this.


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