What would post-apocalyptic chiller The Road seem like if it starred Tom Hanks reverse an cute robotic? A bit like this unusual, sentimental sci-fi on Apple TV+ – co-written by veteran British producer Ivor Powell (who labored on Ridley Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner) and directed by Miguel Sapochnik. Properly, it undoubtedly boasts some superb visible results work.
Tom Hanks performs Finch, an ageing, unwell inventor, who is maybe the one particular person left alive on Earth after a human-made environmental disaster destroyed the ozone layer and left cities eerily half-buried in warmth and dirt. Now Finch scavenges for canned meals by day and spends his evenings constructing an android referred to as Jeff (a motion-captured Caleb Landry Jones) which has a Borat-slash-Stephen-Hawking digital voice. Jeff goofily learns how you can stroll, to drive Finch’s RV and to grasp the world – and his fundamental job will probably be to take care of Finch’s different particular good friend, a canine referred to as Goodyear, when Finch is useless.
So the character dynamic on this movie is odd: it’s mainly a three-way cute-off between Finch, Jeff and Goodyear and there are not any different people within the film, aside from those Finch remembers in harrowing flashbacks. And weirdly, the menace and hazard that you just would possibly anticipate – the folks or issues that might truly threaten our lovable trio – are merely not there. Whereas of their RV, Finch, Jeff and Goodyear seem at one stage to be pursued by somebody in a automobile, after which … properly, these folks, whoever they’re, appear to simply to go away. There’s a curious lack of jeopardy. Our heroes don’t run out of water or meals and there are not any battery-life points with Jeff.
On the very finish, there’s the essential query of whether or not Goodyear can be taught to like and belief Jeff the way in which he loves Finch, and it’s Jeff who we’re supposed to seek out sympathetic and relatable: he isn’t just like the creepy robots from 2001: A House Odyssey or Darkish Star, and the movie even sneakily modifications the way in which Jeff speaks from the mockingly affectless robotic voice to a extra human tone. There’s something anticlimactic and bland in it.