“The Creator,” which hits theaters Friday, September 29, marks a return for director Gareth Edwards, who made his name with the low-budget sci-fi marvel “Monsters” and then for The production of films such as “Godzilla” and “Star” was enlisted as Wars’ entry.
But with “The Creator,” he’s in his own world, albeit one that owes heavily to the genre and other classic films.
“This is a fight for our existence.”
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In the midst of a future war between humanity and the forces of artificial intelligence, a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving over the disappearance of his wife… Read the plot
What is the story of “The Creator”?
Amid a future war between humanity and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-Special Forces agent grieving over the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator. the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end war… and possibly humanity itself.
Joshua and his team of elite agents journey beyond enemy lines into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory…Only to discover the world-destroying weapon he is sent to destroy, an AI takes the place in the form of a small child.
Who else can be seen in “The Creator”?
“The cast of The Creator also includes Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeline Yuna Voyles, Amar Chadha-Patel, Ralph Ineson, Veronica Ngo, Marc Menchaca and Allison Janney.”
Related article: Director Gareth Edwards talks The Creator and artificial intelligence
Is “The Creator” worth watching?
Gareth Edwards is better known these days as the director of such major franchise films as “Godzilla” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (the latter being more controversial, as there has been a lot of talk about how the studio had Tony Gilroy come in and write it). /reshot portions of the film, and it’s telling that Gilroy would later create the prequel Disney+ series Andor, Not Edwards.
But before those two giants, he was the talent responsible for 2010’s excellent, grounded (despite the presence of giant alien creatures) “Monsters,” which mixed a very human story of unequal love with gorgeously realized effects. “The Creator” leans much more into that style of filmmaking, with guerrilla shaky-camera shooting that utilizes some beautiful natural backdrops across Asia, and the story of one person making a connection.
But while Monsters was inspired by disaster films (and Richard Linklater as the central duo), The Creator draws more from the output of filmmakers like James Cameron and Francis Ford Coppola. This is an excellent work of world-building, in which Edwards carefully assembles a reality in which the West is embroiled in conflict against the artificial life forms it created to accomplish tasks, and which have since rebelled to gain their own freedom to back up.
A nuclear attack on Los Angeles a decade ago prompted America to go on the offensive, but in a nice twist on the usual man-versus-machine narrative, Asia has embraced AI and is providing refuge for the various plastics. History is reminiscent of Vietnam, the US is embroiled in a war that it may not win.
To prevent this, the U.S. government built NOMAD, a massive orbital weapons platform that can target individuals and structures and launch devastating missile attacks. The technological terror makes for excellent images, with spectral lasers roaming the landscape and raining fire down on mech heads.
The Creator also looks great, the mostly natural settings (although a dingy industrial town seen midway through the film is just as notable) giving it a standout style.
Edwards also has a good feel for the cast, with Washington once again giving a solid performance and getting along well with newcomer Voyles, who believably combines childish innocence with the character’s impeccable effects work. They’re supported by the likes of Janney (as a brave colonel who will stop at nothing to track them down) and Watanabe, who reunites with his Godzilla director and typically does excellent work as an AI with a connection to Joshua’s past.
This might be the most beautiful and technically effective sci-fi thriller you’ll see this year.
What doesn’t work about The Creator?
There are some downsides to the film, most notably that its world-building invention and impressive performances can’t quite overcome the plot, giving the impression that the director (who co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Weitz, his collaborator on early drafts of ” Rogue One”) Borrowing parts from other films.
It is possible to see elements primarily from James Cameron’s films, particularly The Terminator (a US Army vehicle used late in the film reminded me of the tank-like Hunter Killers) and Aliens (in the dynamics of the grunt that Janney goes into). combat) mixed with something more akin to the work of Alfonso Cuaron.
Which isn’t a bad thing – if you’re going to borrow something, why not choose the best? But when you tick off elements you’ve seen in films like The Matrix and Blade Runner and don’t fully focus on the story Edwards wants to tell here, you know you’re in trouble.
Likewise, the story itself, of Joshua’s connection to the young AI, is something we’ve seen several times before, despite the various metaphysical and ethical additions that aim to freshen things up.
Added to this is the fact that despite an early scene in which they exchange banter, the bond between Washington and Chan’s characters is nowhere near as effective, with the various flashbacks to phases of their relationship seeming like the filmmaker is trying to dissuade you to convince, to feel something and to feel something falls short.
However, the problems do not solve this problem. It’s nice to see Edwards back in his own sphere after a few years of running around other people’s genre playgrounds. The Creator is proof that he hasn’t lost his flair for compelling sci-fi with relatable emotions at its core, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out in IMAX format to get the most out of Love, that was put into the look of the film.
This may not be the most original film you’ll see this year, but it’s certainly one of the more impressive. Welcome back, Gareth Edwards: we missed your points of view and your genuine humanity.
“The Creator” gets 8 out of 10 stars.
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“The Creator” is produced by New Regency Pictures, 20th Century Studios, McFarland Entertainment and Entertainment One and will be in theaters on September 29th.