Eerily similar to a feared trajectory by some, The Creator is an original take on what an AI future could look like.
Gareth Edwards has always had a good eye for science fiction direction. From smaller films like Monsters to mainstream blockbusters like Godzilla and Rogue One, he has demonstrated consistency in storytelling no matter how big the budget. The Creator is no different, and it might be his best film to date. The movie takes place in 2065 with a war between humans and AI raging on with Joshua (John David Washington) tasked to find a new weapon that could take out the entire human defense system. He discovers the weapon is actually a child and suddenly, without spoilers, everything gets much more difficult for him. Washington turns in a knockout performance as the protagonist of The Creator and is turning into a bonafide star in Hollywood.
What really makes this movie great is the story and the sophistication (and scariness) of what an AI future might look like. We as viewers think we’ve seen it all in futuristic movies, but The Creator has several aspects that feel new and frankly really cool. There are even some small things that a character does or has access to, technology wise, that calls for a Keanu Reeves “whoa” moment. Overall, the visual pallet of this movie is extremely tasteful and will be memorable for years to come. Combining that with a story that demonstrates the beauty is what it means to be alive and how important connections are makes for one of the best films of the year (so far).
While the story may be liked by some, people will have issues with some of the structure and character choices. Because of this, it might be divisive in some ways. While I think it works very well, I can also understand why people will have some problems with it. Even if you don’t like the story, The Creator will still be enjoyable due to its stunning visual effects and with how well-paced it is. There isn’t any unnecessary slow downs in the two-plus hour runtime and as a whole, every scene has purpose. With how popular AI is becoming in our current world, it makes The Creator that much more thought-provoking with the third act really bringing it all home in the best way possible.
In a strong year of movies, The Creator will have a tough time winning multiple Oscars, but it’s definitely deserving of at least a few nominations. Regardless of what it may or may not receive during the awards cycle, it deserves your attention and absolutely needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible (IMAX, preferably). It’s great to see Gareth Edwards get away from massive franchises/IP and do something like this that shows his ability to build a world and make it so engrossing. He’s only getting better as a filmmaker and in pop culture landscape lacking in originality, The Creator truly stands out and makes a case for “instant classic” in the sci-fi genre.
(out of five stars)