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The Creator (A Movie Review)

Updated: Oct 23


Starring John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Allison Janney, Ralph Ineson, Marc Menchaca, Veronica Ngo, Amar Chadha-Patel, Robbie Tann, Michael Esper, Veronica Ngo, Ian Verdun, Daniel Ray Rodriguez, Rad Pereira, Syd Skidmore, Karen Aldridge, Teerawat Mulvilai and Leanna Chea.

Screenplay by Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz.

Directed by Gareth Edwards.

Distributed by 20th Century Studios. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13.

Artificial Intelligence has been hugely in the news in recent months. Is it simply a tool, or is it potentially dangerous?

Therefore, it’s probably a wise time for this smart and thoughtful sci-fi film to take a hard look at AI – and to look at it from a potentially different viewpoint. This is because in The Creator, AI robots are generally looked at with compassion. In fact, it is the human beings who come off looking bad.

Hmm… Interesting take on it.

Not that it is the most astoundingly original take. Stephen Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence trod on somewhat similar ground. It also takes more than a few pages from the Avatar playbook, and also a few from Black Panther and several other sci-fi epics. Still, it is a timely subject now, and The Creator is probably a bit better than its occasionally cliched parts.

However, it does create a spectacularly evocative future world which overwhelms some of the movie’s less original storyline impulses. Written by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One) and Chris Weitz (who has come a long way from American Pie), it tells the story of a rogue group of AI robots hiding out to create their own Utopian colony while the army (as represented by a surprisingly hard-ass soldier played against type by Allison Janney) searches the world trying to destroy them. They are in particular looking for the perhaps mythical inventor of the AI, known only as “The Creator.”

The center of the story is Joshua (John David Washington), a disabled soldier who has been working undercover with the army to track down the robots. However, after he befriends a robot community and falls for one of their lot (Gemma Chan), he seems to have a change of heart. When he is given the responsibility of caring for a young AI girl (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) who is integral to robot survival, he travels the world trying to keep her safe as his old friends and co-workers track them down.

But is he really betraying his mission, or is he simply double crossing the robots?

Like I said, it’s hardly the most original film idea ever. (A cynic might suggest it could have been written by AI, but that is hardly fair.)

However, the spectacular visuals that make up this dystopian world definitely make The Creator worth seeing. Edwards has a keen visual eye and creates one of the more impressive future worlds in recent memory, and immersing yourself in that world is the type of experience that the movies are created for. Doubly so if you get to see the film in IMAX.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: September 29, 2023.

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