Given all the apocalyptic storytelling in recent years, it makes sense in a Hollywood way that we’d eventually arrive at a warm-and-fuzzy, feel-good apocalypse movie. According to its first official trailer, that would be Finch, set to premiere on the Apple TV+ streaming service November 5.
We’ve had straight-up apocalypse movies about asteroid strikes, contagions and zombies — too many to name. We’ve seen plenty of dark-comedy entrants (Shaun of the Dead, This Is the End). There have also been interesting indies and other hybrids (A Quiet Place, Wall-e).
But perhaps underrepresented on the list of apocalyptic movies would be tear-jerking Hollywood blockbusters starring A-list actors like Tom Hanks (aka modern-day Jimmy Stewart). Enter Finch. Here, the wasteland is a backdrop for an encouraging story about teamwork and love.
A boy and his dog (and his robot)
In the film’s story, and as the trailer shows, a solar flare has destroyed civilization. Robotics engineer Finch, the title character played by Hanks, has been hiding out in a bunker. He finds and falls in love with a cute dog there. But he realizes his new best friend, named Goodyear, will probably outlive him.
So what to do? Finch decides to build a robot to take care of the dog after he’s gone. The resulting artificially intelligent robot names itself “Jeff” (played by Caleb Landry Jones, who won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).
But if any of them are to survive, they have to leave the waning safety of the bunker and head out west, braving savage storms and more across the wasteland. And so unfolds a heart-warming adventure story.
On a cross-country adventure
“We should be safe once we get into the mountains,” Hanks says at one point. “Bad things will happen. Like 150-degree heat. UV radiation. And people … hiding in the shadows.”
The trailer’s action depicts death-defying adventure mixed with charming bits. At one point Finch tries to teach Jeff the robot how to drive the camper. At another point Jeff learns to speak “dog,” but the pooch doesn’t like what he has to say.
The trailer hits a lot of right notes. It depicts a genuinely scary world with characters you’d like to see survive whatever comes.
“Do you think we’ll make it?” Jeff asks Finch toward the end of the trailer.
“Not without my team,” replies Finch. “What we do, we do together.”
“I believe in you, Finch,” Jeff says.
Cue the “awwws” and maybe a few teardrops.
Hanks’ second Apple TV+ effort
Craig Luck and Ivor Powell wrote the screenplay for Finch. Powell worked in the genre previously as associate producer for the sci-if classics Blade Runner and Alien.
Finch, from Apple Original Films, will begin streaming on Apple TV+ on November 5. Subscribe to Apple TV+ for $4.99 per month or via any tier of the Apple One subscription service.