Finch’s Hope for the Future

15 Nov

Finch (2021) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on Apple TV Plus
Spoiler Alert

Finch (Tom Hanks) may well be the last man on Earth. After a solar flare razed the Earth, the planet is devastated. He has Goodyear, his pet dog, to be his companion, but it’s not enough to give him hope. At first, he built a simple droid to assist in his day to day living, but he knew he needed another companion. The bot he builds combines traits and a look between Number 5, Wall*E and C3P0. But its programming could not be uploaded fast enough as the old man and his ensemble have to flee. There’s an approaching electrical storm.

This robot is like a child for Finch to raise and imbue his values to. He can’t code into his “kid” survival instincts.

Craig Luck> and Ivor Powell crafted a wonderfully complex and sad tale about what it means to be alive. Emotions don’t necessarily define it, but just understanding others is. The grizzled man wants something to symbolize hope for the future, and though nobody knows it at the time, that’s encoded into the ‘bot named Jeff.

The world has to survive this apocalypse. Finch’s seen the worst in humanity during his wanderings. The stories he tells to Jeff is about how everyone is fending for themselves and doesn’t have any care for others. He also wants his creation to take care of the canine. But the two have problems bonding. How can a dog love a robot? It’s tough, but giving it a name, Jeff, helps and as he develops a more human-like persona, the two quickly get along.

The voice of Caleb Landry Jones ebbs a sense of child-like wonder.  I can’t help but think that just maybe, during the final act the spirit of Finch has entered the mainframe, and the two merged to complete the robot’s programming.

It’s tough to say as the film doesn’t have a proper ending. Since this robot has a lot more to discover–much like Data from Star Trek: Next Generation’s early seasons–we may get a sequel. This work is a different type of Pinocchio tale, and it really needs another story because I feel Jeff’s journey is not over.

4 Stars out of 5

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