To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, The Creator is a sci-fi action thriller directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) from a screenplay written by Edwards and Chris Weitz (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Featuring John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, and Allison Janney. The story follows Joshua, an ex-special forces agent who is recruited to hunt down and destroy a mysterious weapon created by the elusive Nirmata to end the war between the human race and artificial intelligence.
An old-fashioned movie reel plays showing the advances in human technology. Eventually, it reaches a point where humans have created artificial intelligence in the form of robots. The machines are shown working alongside humans as drivers, maids, and in hospitals as surgeons. They are then shown as police officers and soldiers helping to keep the peace before a large explosion is exhibited destroying most of downtown Los Angeles. The U.S. Secretary of Defense appears on screen giving a statement to Congress about the catastrophe and how because of it artificial intelligence was banned in the Western world but continues to flourish unchecked in New Asia. He ends his speech by declaring war on A.I. And those helping it continue.
From Terminator to The Matrix to Ex Machina, movies about artificial intelligence bringing about the destruction of the human race have been prevalent in Hollywood for years. They all start the same with scientists not thinking about the consequences of their actions thus dooming every person on the planet. Others such as Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie take a more lighthearted approach. Gareth Edwards gives the audience something in-between by weaving a tale that is a marriage of Eastern and Western storytelling. The majority of this film is from the A.I. perspective so we understand what they and those who help them have to lose. While the format and location of the story derive from Asian culture the base is taken from Biblical epics.
Alfie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) is the messiah of the robots who comes in the form of a child who will deliver them from the cruel machinations of man. She can perform miracles that no other machine can and was specially created by Nirmata, the scientist whom the androids view as their creator/god. Voyles’ portrayal seems as if it draws inspiration from The Golden Child even if by pure coincidence. John David Washington proves once again that he is worthy of carrying his father’s last name. His acting talent paired with his charisma and charm makes Joshua a relatable character from the first time you see him. He is not driven by his need to save the world or to help his government but by the chance to find something that he has lost. For most of the film, he acts in his own interests pursuing only what will help him to complete his goal of finding his wife. He is not good or bad. He is human, a flawed creation like the rest of us, and that’s what makes him more relatable to the audience because you can easily slip yourself into his shoes.
The score is astonishingly good which is expected of Hans Zimmer (Inception). The cinematography is breathtaking. Greig Fraser (Dune) and Olen Soffer (Fixation) capture the vast landscapes making them look like works of art on the screen. Every scene showing the Nomad satellite moving across the earth evokes a sense of awe and horror. This film had a budget of $80 million yet it looks like a $200 million movie. Bravo to the entire crew for pulling this off and let it be an example to the studios that sometimes less can be more and spending can be decreased. I do feel that the final third of the movie feels a bit uneven and there are plot elements that could have used a little more explanation, but neither take away from the story we get.
With a poetic well-written story, stunning visuals, and a great score this a film that should be seen on the biggest screen possible. I give The Creator a Decent 8.4/10. Gareth Edwards weaves together a fascinating story about artificial intelligence and begs to ask the question; what is A.I. if not just a reflection of it’s creator?