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'The Creator' Review: Amazing Visuals, Good Story

Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

The Creator is directed by Gareth Edwards, known for directing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and stars John David Washington, Gemma Chan, and Ken Watanabe in this science fiction movie where the United States is at war with AI after AI was blamed for the destruction of Los Angeles. This movie takes place in a distant, alternate future. Joshua Taylor, who lost a lot due to this conflict, is sent to New Asia, which protects AI, to stop a weapon. The Creator also comes out after the Writers’ Strike ends and during an Actors’ Strike, where a major concern has been the use of AI.

Gareth Edwards made my personal favorite Disney-era Star Wars movie with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The tone, cinematography, score, and effects were spot-on. Once again, he does not disappoint us with the cinematography and effects. The Creator had a $80 million budget, which is way less than movies such as The Flash and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantomania but had way superior visuals to those movies. The amount of detail in the AIs, cities, and other designs is incredible. Gareth Edwards said it took all COVID lockdown for him to design this ship called the Nomad that the humans use to take down AI.

Similar to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Creator has a serious tone that works well for the movie. It makes sense due to events in the movie that lead to a war with AI. At the same time, it knows how to pull off the humor it does have. The few jokes landed and had good delivery. Han Zimmer’s brilliant score fits in with the movie’s tone. The action was entertaining to watch as well. The movie also has an interesting commentary on AI. With AI growing today in real life, people grow concerned that AI will replace jobs, can become too powerful and out of control. In this movie, the concerns are more serious, particularly when AI is blamed for destroying Los Angeles. At the same time, people believe that while AI should have limits, it’s not as bad as it seems.

The performances in the movie were great. John David Washington plays Joshua Taylor, who has lost a lot due to this conflict with AI and is dragged back into the conflict after he believes the woman he loved, Maya, was killed during an attack. Gemma Chan plays Maya, mostly in flashback sequences, but still delivers a great performance. Ken Watanabe does a very good job playing a simulant soldier named Harun, who has a complicated relationship with Joshua Taylor. The most powerful performance came from Madeleine Yuna Voyles, who played Alphie, a simulant deemed a powerful AI weapon by humanity due to her ability to control technology. The dynamic between Josh and Alphie is developed very well throughout the movie. At first, I was worried Alphie could be an annoying character, but right away became a great character.

While The Creator has fantastic visuals, great characters, great performances, and action, it does contain story elements we have seen many times before. For example, the antagonists are similar to villains we have seen in other science fiction movies. Does that make it a bad movie? No, but it does take away from what could have been a more unique movie. The movie still has original concepts and twists that were pulled off well.

The main issue with The Creator is in the third act. The first two acts were well done and took the time to tell the movie’s story. The third act has some pacing issues. The beginning of the act feels rushed to get to a certain point of the movie. Then, it slows down and adds some unnecessary distractions meant to slow down the characters from getting to certain places. The third act still has cool, emotional sequences, but I didn’t enjoy it like I enjoyed most of the movie before it. Still, it didn’t ruin the great experience I had.

Overall, The Creator is a welcomed addition to the science fiction genre. The cinematography is some of the best this year. The movie has some powerful performances, especially from newcomer Madeleine Yuna Voyles. The tone works well for the movie. The pacing needs work in the third act but doesn’t take away from this powerful story. While some of the plot elements seem similar, it’s nice to see solid new science fiction coming out at a time when people feel burned out from certain science fiction franchises and want something new.

My final grade for The Creator is a B+. The movie has a rough third act and familiar elements from other movies but tells a powerful story with great acting, filmmaking, and visuals. I highly recommend you check out The Creator.

What are your thoughts on The Creator? Let us know in the comments below.

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