Monday, January 17, 2022

Movie Monday: Finch

Saturday night, after two weeks with COVID, I declared a fun night, and my husband and I ordered pizza and wings and watched a movie. We settled on Finch, an original movie on Apple TV starring Tom Hanks that looked appealing to both of us. We had a wonderful feast and thoroughly enjoyed this warm, funny and heartbreaking yet hopeful movie.

Hanks plays Finch, an engineer marooned in a post-apocalyptic world. A solar flare rendered Earth almost uninhabitable, with searing temperatures, soaring radiation levels, and nothing left growing. It's a stark, terrifying landscape, but Finch is holed up in the old tech company where he used to work and is fairly safe. Something of a tech genius, he has not only outfitted his bunker but also developed a protective suit for himself and some rudimentary robots to help him scavenge what he can (though there's not a lot left). Most important, for his mental health, he found a dog who lives with him in the bunker and to whom he is devoted. At the start of the movie, once we see what the outside world is like and what Finch is up against, he puts the finishing touches on his best robot yet: a human-like robot who has been programmed with a "prime directive," to protect the dog. Not a moment too soon because Finch spots a huge storm coming and decides that the three of them will be better off leaving town. They pile into a modified, tank-ified RV and head west out of St. Louis. Finch has always wanted to see the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Their journey is an adventure, with plenty of challenges encountered but also some laughs and tender moments along the way.

This movie is filled with the kind of warmth and humor you expect from Tom Hanks (not to mention his smart, just-learning-about-the-world robot), though there are moments of peril and one very sad part, too. It takes you on an emotional journey along with the characters. Hanks has some experience with starring in a movie where he is practically the only character on-screen, though here, both the dog and the robot have their own fully-developed personalities, so it doesn't feel like he's alone. The challenges they face are often dark and frightening, so there is plenty of action and suspense, though the heart of this movie is ... its heart, and there is plenty of humor along the way. It's really about relationships and about hope. We both enjoyed it very much; it was a perfect Saturday night escape!

Finch is an Apple original, so it is available exclusively on Apple TV.

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