Finch ★★★

Finch, the newest Tom Hanks flick, is set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with harmful UV radiation. Early on, it becomes obvious that the film will be a one-man-one-robot-one-dog show. While science only explains the plot's backdrop, the screenplay focuses more on the heart-warming, emotional connection between human, animal, and robot. We've seen bits and pieces of this in other films such as I Am Legend, Cast Away, Wall-E and more. Still, Miguel Sapochnik's 1h 55m film carries enough tenderness to see it through. By now, Tom Hanks can do these characters in his sleep, so there are no surprises there. What impresses is the CGI, world-building, and a great dog-actor (Seamus).

There's a relatively unexplored character arc in terms of the titular character Finch (Hanks) not trusting people for whatever reason. He comes up with excuses to stay as far away from the post-apocalyptic survivors as possible. But, like every other human, he craves social connection, conversation, and the feeling of belonging to someone, somewhere. A few scenes of Finch and his crew deflecting from the presence of people aren't convincing enough, especially a road-chase scene. Some routine shots of eating, drinking, driving, and repairing also appear repetitively, extending the run-time. What's noticeable is that the robot can process complex human activities and information swiftly yet act very clumsy at times. Also, why the funny voice/accent? This isn't 1998. In the age when voiceover technology has advanced so much, it seems a rather odd choice.

But the climactic stretch is beautifully done - both from an emotional as well as a cinematic standpoint. It makes you shed a tear when you see the gratifying connection between man and machine come to fruition, even when the plausibility of it happening in such a short span remains questionable. One can call it the perfectly wrapped cliché; pretty enjoyable nonetheless. Also, the soundtrack helps!

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