Friday, November 5, 2021

Finch - Movie Review

The Movie: Finch

The Director: Miguel Sapochnik

The Cast: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Marie Wagenman, Oscar Avila

The Story: A man, a robot and a dog form an unlikely family in a powerful and moving adventure of one man’s quest to ensure that his beloved canine companion will be cared for after he’s gone.

The Review:
A futuristic science fiction movie, based on a short film by Craig Luck, featuring Tom Hanks as the title character, a dog, and a robot named Jeff voiced by Caleb Landry Jones. I mean what could go wrong right? Well, for one when a streaming service claims a movie and then stamps it as an original like they had anything to do with its creation, I instantly become a little skeptical. I say this because, more often than not, streaming service releases have become the new straight to DVD type of quality movie that rarely lives up to the hype, if it even had any hype to begin with.

Every project director Miguel Sapochnik has worked on prior to this film has been for TV ranging from House to Game of Thrones and even an episode of Iron Fist. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just a different type of filmmaking than what you would see for major motion pictures which is what this movie is billed to be. Visually, this movie has just about everything you would hope to see given the story including some big, sweeping vistas along with highly detailed and natural looking CGI work.

Fred, the robot, is a combination of Wall-E and Chappie with a little bit of C-3PO thrown in for good measure although Caleb Landry Jones manages to bring him to life in a very unique way. It's very entertaining to see him learn from Finch especially as he has to figure out not to take instructions so literally. There is a lot of good comedy that comes from their interactions and Hanks shows why he is one of the best actors of our lifetime. Being able to handle characters that are pretty much alone on screen, at least when it comes to other humans, has become a hallmark of his career so it's no surprise that he would be more than comfortable taking on this role.

While Hanks is great and the movie looks beautiful, the story just wasn't that interesting to me. It's nothing we haven't seen before and it just sort of wanders along to its ultimate and inevitable conclusion without much to get excited about when it comes to originality or innovative storytelling. I'm pretty sure Apple was just banking on the Hanks name driving this on to success and you know what, for their streaming service, it'll probably be enough.

The Verdict:
Finch is a robotic road trip movie that wanders down the highway like a breezy Sunday drive but ultimately runs out of gas before reaching its final destination. Tom Hanks is always great but this time not enough to make this movie anything more than a pit stop on the road through streaming land.

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