‘I really enjoyed being a jack...’
Despite not appearing in any massive hits for a while, Tom Hanks‘ late career output has still been mostly successful. The Post, Greyhound, News of the World and particularly A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood are all solid movies (although the less said about 2017’s excretable The Circle the better), and Finch, Hanks’ latest collaboration with Apple+ is also in the solid-if-not-spectacular range. Mainly because we have seen this kind of movie so many times before…
Finch (Hanks) is one of the few remaining survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. His only companions are his beautiful dog Goodyear and his Frankenstein’s Monster of a robot, Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones). The latter starts out as a few spare parts forged together, but over the course of two hours, Jeff learns how to be a human. And hey, maybe the robot might teach old Finch a thing or two as well (spoiler – he does).
So, we have a famous actor alone in a desolate, barren place just like Matt Damon in The Martian, we have a man struggling to survive in a hostile environment with only his dog for company like Will Smith in I Am Legend, and we also have an attempt to humanise artificial intelligence like in AI, Short Circuit, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the entire Terminator franchise and many others. What sets Finch apart from all the films in this genre that came before it is Hanks himself, who is, as ever, utterly joyous, and also the heart-wrenching, gutter-punch of an ending. A conclusion that is both innovative and utterly fitting to what has come before.
It’s probably not quite as good as The Martian and it’s certainly not as good as Hanks’ best work, but in terms of the last decade, Finch is undoubtedly one of Hanks’ more accomplished works. And he is still the greatest leading man of all time.