A post-apocalyptic feature film of two hours with only three people, one of whom is a half-finished robot, the other a shaggy dog, and the third Hollywood’s all-purpose Tom Hanks. Can this work? With “Finch,” newly available these days on Apple TV+, the answer is yes!
Planned and shot as a feature film, the theatrical release of the latest feature film starring Tom Hanks has been delayed several times. The film is now launching as an Apple Original Movie on Apple TV+. And even though a good movie remains a good movie at a small screen diagonal, one would have begrudged “Finch” the very big screen.
Not only in its convincing visual realization this film radiates unrestricted cinema format: Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners with Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) as executive producer, two cinema icons pulled the strings in the background of “Finch”.
“Finch” was then also awaited by the industry with maximum excitement. Not just because of Tom Hanks in the lead role. Ever since director Miguel Sapochnik won an Emmy for his production of the episode “The Battle of the Bastards” in the sixth season of “Game of Thrones,” the former storyboard artist was considered an insider’s tip in Hollywood.
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Finch (Tom Hanks) is a robotics engineer who builds himself a robot successor in a destroyed world. Even before he can upload all the necessary knowledge to it, Finch has to flee his lab before a renewed deterioration in environmental conditions.
Together with his dog Lovejoy and the robot, Finch makes his way across the USA to San Francisco. Because the robot could only store two-thirds of the planned data before the escape, Finch tries to teach him everything important about the dog and life.
Movie Rating: ★★★★★ = highly recommended | ★ = not worth seeing
For his second feature film, Miguel Sapochnik has chosen a story set in a world where people no longer fight for power. Because they’re dead. Tom Hank plays Finch, a surviving engineer who has a dog for a friend and is building a robot because he knows he too will soon die. The humanoid is to take responsibility for the quadruped after his demise.
The film leaves it to the viewer’s imagination to answer the question of what catastrophe caused this hostile environment in which solar flares make the earth’s surface uninhabitable. This courage of the director to intentionally leave essential things unanswered is one of the very big strengths of “Finch”. The resulting gaps offer plenty of room to see and – because the story is told with maximum sensitivity to humanity – to identify with.
Lovejoy, the animal companion at Finch’s side, may be the first quadruped in movie history to be listed in the credits for the film with his real dog’s name, Seamus, on par with a world star like Tom Hanks. This together with the actor Caleb Landry Jones.
He can also talk about himself in this feature film with an extremely unusual fact: The actor is despite prominent mention not a single second to see in “Finch”. Still, the latter’s impressive acting performance sets the tone for the film – it’s his voice and psychomotor skills that make the CGI-animated robot Jeff a true experience.
Landry Jones before / after recording his movements (motion capture):
It’s one of the small great wonders of “Finch” how director Sapochnik manages to bring so much touching humanity to the forefront with a terminally ill main character in a broken world where only a robot and a dog remain at the end of the film’s story.
If you’re looking for a typical Hollywood movie in blockbuster style as opium for your own lust for the end of the world, you’re definitely on the wrong track with “Finch”. But for people who aren’t just after bubble gum for their eyes, this great movie is an impressive experience that you can watch together with your family without hesitation.
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Zachery Zelluloid war in der Unterhaltungsindustrie tätig. Er schreibt unter Pseudonym, weil er weder vertraglichen Schweigepflichten verletzen, noch das wirtschaftliche Fortkommen der Berufsgattung Anwalt fördern oder Freunde brüskieren will. Sein richtiger Name ist der Redaktion bekannt.
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