Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Starring: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones
Run Time: 115 mins
Finch is a post-apocalyptic drama starring the ever-reliable Tom Hanks as the titular character. Earth is a largely uninhabitable planet after a solar flare destroyed the ozone layer, with extreme weather and high levels of radiation. Finch, seemingly one of the only humans left on the planet, is a robotics engineer who lives with his dog, Goodyear and a robot, Dewey. He only ventures outside when he needs supplies.
Early on in the film, Finch is reading a book in bed on the effects of ionising radiation. It is invoked that he is slowly dying from this, although it is never explicitly confirmed, and the engineer is working on creating a new humanoid helper robot, Jeff, who can look after his dog when he passes.
The film is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, most famous for his Game of Thrones episodes, although this is not his first venture into film as he previously directed Repo Men, another science fiction effort although it was received negatively.
Finch is fine in the moment and it’s anchored by a committed Hanks performance, but it’s rather perfunctory and adds nothing new to the genre. Sapochnik’s direction is disappointingly anonymous, its tone cloying and it painfully channels a Steven Spielberg or Robert Zemeckis film but without nuance or warmth. It’s a real shame as he has proven a master at large battle sequences and is adept with character development, but his heart doesn’t seem to be in it here.
Finch’s training of Jeff and the film’s road movie elements are obvious and take up too much of the film’s run time. Jeff (voiced by Caleb Landry Jones) is an exhausting screen presence and the dog would probably have a happier life if he kicked the bucket with Finch. Even Gustavo Santaolalla’s score, the composer most famous for his collaborations with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, fails to spurt the film to life and he typically almost always livens up a film.
Finch’s problems are conceptual in root and it really needed to find a way to distance itself from other sci-fi works of this nature. It’s not a complete failure and it has its moments here-and-there but ultimately, you’ll forget Finch five minutes after viewing.