Finch on Apple TV +: smart but artificial (review)

Tom Hanks replays Alone in the world, but with a robot instead of the ball. A nice sci-fi tale on what it means to be human, even if everything looks like deja vu.

Tom hanks alone on the screen, struggling to survive … Does that remind you of anything? Swap the volleyball for a robot with overdeveloped artificial intelligence and you get Finch ! An SF tale at the crossroads between Alone in the world and Chappie (with a little touch of Wall-E). The film that has just been streamed on Apple TV + is, in itself, a touching and clever road trip. Unfortunately, we have the feeling, in each scene, to have already seen this 100 times …

No plane crash here. Finch is a robotics engineer. This 50-year-old American has survived alone, for years, in the Saint-Louis region, after a catastrophic solar flare made the Earth almost uninhabitable. It is 70 ° C. UV rays burn everything. And humanity is decimated. In its wind station, Finch leads a life with precision for his survival and that of his dog. But soon, a third member will join the tribe: an amazing AI robot. As a deadly storm approaches their makeshift home, the trio will have to hit the road. Direction the only zone still livable: California …

Cult director of Game Of Thrones, to whom HBO did not hesitate to entrust the next spin-off House of the dragon, Miguel Sapochnik signs a beautiful story of SF. A post-apo anticipation drama, without zombie, but with a real end of the world more than tangible, where global warming has squirted mercury from the thermometer. The environmental message is secondary, however, because Finch prefers to bet on human emotion. What am I saying: the “hanksian” emotion!

With his usual charisma and this dramatic power that made his heyday, the actor at the two Oscars plays it brilliantly solo … well almost. To give the answer, we find an android behind which hides (in motion capture) Caleb Landry Jones. The two form a touching pair, linking sketches on the meaning of life. During this formative journey (literally), the scientist learns at his creation the meaning of love, friendship and what it means to be human. A sensitive approach to the post-apocalyptic in a superb decor à la Mad Max, even if Sapochnik has a hard time moving away from clichés of the genre. When Finch balance to his robot: “You are just a machine! ” We can’t help but roll our eyes. All the more so as the machine in question nevertheless shows sentimental faculties (he dreams!) Which would make Philip K. Dick jump.

Add a cute little dog who brings back the ball and you just have to melt. Yes, Finch is sometimes a little too much in the anthropological melody and it was necessary at least Tom hanks to keep the film from drifting completely into dripping sentimentalism. Especially since the script is a bit light. The road movie never really seems to go anywhere. Or rather we quickly understand where he wants to take us: a robotic countertop philosophy that sounds very artificial. Fortunately, Finch has the intelligence to put his heart into it and at the same time forges a soul for himself.

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