Apple TV+ 'Finch' review: Bolsters strong performance from Tom Hanks, has heart but gets lost among other Sci-fi films

Finch with his robot companion Jeff (Image via IGN)
Finch with his robot companion Jeff (Image via IGN)

Apple TV+ dropped its latest film, "Finch", on November 5. It stars Tom Hanks as scientist Finch Weinberg, who builds a living robot named Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones) to help his physical deterioration, after a solar flare decimates the Earth’s ozone layer, making much of the world inhospitable.


Before a deadly storm can reach them, Finch, his dog Goodyear (Seamus), Jeff and another helper-robot Dewey head out on the road. During the journey, Finch teaches Jeff valuable life lessons on how to take care of Goodyear in his absence. Lessons that could mean life or death.

An epic adventure is on the horizon. Watch this first look at #Finch. Premieres November 5 on Apple TV+

It is worth noting that much of the Earth, at this point, looks like a recreation from "Mad Max" and will definitely leave much to desire. Even from a man whose only companions are a dog and a few homemade robots.

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Finch uses elements from other Sci-Fi movies

Jeff with his creator Finch (Image via Apple TV+)
Jeff with his creator Finch (Image via Apple TV+)

"Finch" proves to be a decent watch but it often gets lost in other science-fiction movies, living in their shadow, rather than doing something new. The film seems like a mashup of "I Am Legend" and "Wall-E" with a lonely man and his dog walking around the earth with a robot and frequent sandstorms.

After realizing all of this, it’s hard not to compare "Finch" to other sci-fi films and if it really does stand out from the crowd. It needs to use tropes that have yet to be utilized in science-fiction, and have a différent narrative than just one man trying to get to an end goal with his canine companion.

And maybe, a robot in a post-apocalyptic world.

Tom Hanks is phenomenal in Finch

Tom Hanks plays Finch in this divisive sci-fi thriller (Image via Apple TV+)
Tom Hanks plays Finch in this divisive sci-fi thriller (Image via Apple TV+)

The standout aspect of this film is that Hanks proves, yet again, that he is able to hold down a feature film. Even if it’s just him and a robot as his sole conversation partner.

What truly makes this a 'Tom Hanks powerhouse performance' is that he is able to work with so little and still make the most out of it through raw emotions. Feelings that transition from fear, to anger, or to joy, with astonishing smoothness on Hanks' part.

In any case, Tom is a man who understands the assignment. The payoff for his work is incredible and people can't wait for his next project.

‘Finch’ does have heart

Finch with his dog Goodyear (Image via Apple TV+)
Finch with his dog Goodyear (Image via Apple TV+)

Whether or not people will think of this film as a rip off of other sci-fi movies, it will definitely do something to resonate with you, even if for a few minutes at a time.

Understanding that Jeff is not a human and is introduced as a robot may come across as jarring, at least at first hand. However, it all melts away when we see his emotions burst out via child-like tendencies.

Jeff runs at only 72% capacity, and he is not fully complete with his uploading. This means that Finch’s robot has cognitive errors and makes mistakes throughout the run of the film.

However, those mistakes only make him more human and allow the audience to sympathize with him. Because, who hasn’t made mistakes in life?

Finch is a recent production from Apple TV+ and is availble for streaming now. This Tom Hanks' starrer packs quite a punch. Well, at least it does so after you move past the similarities with other post-apocalyptic movies.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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