(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

FINCH is a post-apocalypse (solar flare/gamma burst) story, with many nods to earlier science fiction stories: a low-slung robot named Dewey, an opening sequence reminiscent of THE MARTIAN, and a humanoid robot built for companionship. There is also a scene in which Finch (played by Tom Hanks) talks about the four directives (I don't recall the exact word), which are basically the Three Laws of Robotics--except after giving the First, Finch skips directly to the Fourth; screenwriters Craig Luck and Ivor Powell assume the audience knows the Second and Third.

Hanks is alone again, as in CAST AWAY, but his psychological state is different--in CAST AWAY, he knows everyone else is alive, while in FINCH everyone (or at least 99.999% of the people) are dead. Hanks has been busy lately, with five movies in the previous two years: NEWS OF THE WORLD, BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM, GREYHOUND, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and TOY STORY 4. This one, however, he has to carry basically alone (Caleb Landry Jones provides the voice and probably the motion capture for Jeff). However, even with human, director Miguel Sapochnik manages to include "the slo-mo march" of the heroes abreast towards the camera, along in this case it's Finch, his dog Goodyear, Jeff, and Dewey. Not a lot of new ground is broken here, but it is enjoyable in a classic science fiction sort of way.

Released 11/05/21 on Apple TV+. Rating: high +2 (-4 to +4), or 8/10.

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					Mark R. Leeper
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