Review of 'The Creator'

the_creator.jpg Following a nuclear attack on Los Angeles by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) causes the US to wage war on all AI, focusing it's efforts on Asia where they embrace it. After 10 years of development the US launch the military space platform USS NOMAD to rain missiles on AI enclaves. US military operative Joshua (John David Washington) has been tasked with infiltrating New Asia falls in loves with then marries Maya (Gemma Chan), who the US believe is related to “Nirmata” the mysterious architect behind the AI advancements. After she is killed in a NOMAD strike Joshua returns to the US only to be recruited years later to destroy a new weapon being developed by New Asia having been also told that Maya is still alive. During a raid Joshua discovers the new weapon is in the form of an robotic “simulant” young girl called Alpha-Omega (Madeleine Yuna Voyles), or, “Alphie” as he calls her, who is able to remotely control technology. As Joshua grows more attached to Alphie horrible truths are revealed…

I can't quite put my finger on it but I never really got into this film. Obviously we are meant to side with the cute girl with a wonderful smile and charming eyes but her relationship with Joshua never really convinces as we are thrown from battle to battle with little chance to get to know any of the characters. This makes it very hard to swallow how Joshua so quickly turns from pro-US to pro-AI, was it the puppy dog eyes? It has to be said the battle sequences really do look amazing and the effects are up there with the best but it seems all we do is madly race from one to the next. I am not entirely sure I agree with the premise that the AI are good guys and the US are the bad guys as this is way too simplistic for me particularly in light with what we are now learning about so-called AI platforms on the Internet (e.g. GPT-3). Here the filmmakers use some blunt instruments such as the brutal US Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) and the impersonal, utterly effective NOMAD space station that frequents many sequences which looks very cool with it's laser scanning of Earth's surface then blasting parts of it to pieces.

The entire film feels very gritty and real with the actor's performances quite adequate if a bit more focused on running that actual acting. Particularly spell-binding is that of Madeleine Yuna Voyles as the child AI weapon who charms on the screen and is extraordinarily natural though, to be fair, most of the time is simply smiling and staring rather than acting or talking. John David Washington as Joshua seems to be channelling Wesley Snipes in full action mode but there is not much more to his performance.

Looks great but is a bit too simplistic with principal characters we never really get to know.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2023-10-01

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Studio: 20th Century Studios

Year: 2023

Length: 133 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Gareth Edwards: