Saturday, December 4, 2021

Finch Review: Tom Hanks – Sad Max

As movies about the apocalypse become more and more entertaining (gulp) for viewers – I mean the very word “audience” feels in danger – the burden on filmmakers is becoming the transformation of the 21st century’s most popular new genre ( yes, I include superheroes) into something less like an unbridled fantasy, but more like a reliable mirror of real problems.

But even without zombies or aliens, the post-doomsday company drama Finch, starring Tom Hanks and a baby droid, is a tedious, annoying misfire. A jumble of stellar power, darkness, CGI and beauty, it will remind you on the one hand how adorable adaptive Hanks can be, and at the same time prove how problematic the end of the world will be as a scenario for a sketchy heart. pull.

It’s a shame because Hanks is no stranger to being the only person around, being an unforgettably convincing partner in the scene against the destructive mastiff (Turner and Hooch) and the anthropomorphized volleyball (The Banishment). The two-time Oscar-winner has always had a special talent for light touch and powerful depth of meaningful social interaction, so even the prospect of his role as Sad Max in the post-apocalypse, pushing his way through the barren United States with only one idiot. Land Rover and a robot to talk to is kind of a temptation to repeat performance.

But, as written by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell, a Game of Thrones alumnus and written by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell, Finch is a concept, not a movie, like Pixar would abandon the idea early on in a brainstorming session or what the Terminator would invent as a character. psychological campaign before the seizure of power.

It is a resource-depleted, climate-cooked world that we entered 10 years after something happened. (Which we should all assume is actually happening now.) When he’s not digging grocery stores in devastated, abandoned St. Louis, wearing a controlled cooling UV suit to keep from frying, Finch Weinberg (Hanks) hides … in the underground lab of a tech conglomerate, where he worked as a robotics genius, caring for his dog, Goodyear, and tinkering with what became his life’s work: a trained bipedal robot with artificial intelligence that will keep an eye on Goodyear when he can“t more …

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However, climatic muck awaits no one. When Jeff (as Finch’s creation is called) detects an impending 40-day superstorm, we are unwittingly told that Finch is deciding it is time for him and his non-human group to leave the West Coast in his solar-powered mobile home. (Arc-V?)

Tom Hanks in Finch.

(Karen Kuen / Apple TV +)

There is something almost odd about Man-Teaches-Robot / Man-Robot Friends, whose soul is stuck in the time of Short Circuit. But this is the family level of simplistic wisdom that Finch works at. It’s also quickly annoying when there is a chance to appreciate the professionalism of Hanks, playing a broken loner who is taxed at every turn because the script prefers something that makes you giggle or make you cry. And it all feels like a missed opportunity to explore what is already a complex reality – our relationship to technology. There is, of course, no superficial handling of the narrative and the mood that Sapochnik even finds this topic interesting.

As Jeff, portraying Caleb Landry Jones’ boyish enthusiasm through motion capture is a good thing, although it seems like it switches anxiously between student, child, and pet, and Borat-wee-Stephen Hawking’s harsh voice is certainly a choice. Jeff seems more human as he “learns”, but also more early childhood and therefore just as caricatured repulsive.

Technically, Joe Willems’ cinema has a remarkable attention to how light changes as the journey progresses. But caring about what’s going on in Finch is an obstacle course that you eventually give up. If there is unintended sadness, it is that we are indeed witnessing an apocalyptic future in which Tom Hanks’ skills are increasingly relegated to the background by algorithms of cinematic equipment that wants to see the dog grow to love the robot. This is a really scary weather forecast.


Rating: PG-13, for short images of violence.

Duration: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Plays: Available November 5 on Apple TV +

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