When the world is coming to an end, when cities have been turned into dust bowls, the sun is so hot and radiation levels are so high that you can’t walk around without protective clothing, who else but Tom Hanks by your side?

A symbol of geniality, warmth and decency in movie after movie, Hanks is the perfect casting choice for the Apple TV+ release Finch. Hanks’s titular robotics engineer is among the few humans left in the wasteland that has been created by a solar flare. Now reduced to foraging for survival and suffering from a terminal illness, Finch has one reason to live: his scruffy terrier Goodyear.

Finch builds a humanoid robot to care for Goodyear after he is gone. Clever despite not being fully functional with a mind and personality of its own, the robot named Jeff accompanies Finch and Goodyear on a journey towards something that feels like hope.

Written by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell and directed by Miguel Sapochnik (the movie Repo Man, episodes of Game of Thrones), Finch combines simplicity and earned emotion, solid performances and an effective portrayal of a dystopian landscape. Tom Hanks brings heart, soul and wisdom to an often-moving account of surviving the odds. Seamus, the rescue dog who appears as Finch’s companion, is a very good boy indeed.

The humour is supplied by Jeff, brought to life through motion capture technology and beautifully voiced by Caleb Landry Jones to resemble a very bright and enthusiastic child with a sense of marvel and adventure. As this unusual trio tries to outrun dust storms and malevolent forces, the 115-minute movie presents a vision of the future that is filled with anxiety as well as optimism. This future might belong to the dogs and the machines, but the human factor will save us, Finch convincingly suggests.

Finch (2021).