The Creator Review – Sci-fi spectacle without groundbreaking story

Gareth Edwards garnered high praise with his penultimate feature film Rogue One. With his latest work The Creator, he opts for a similar setting and it could hardly have turned out better.

In battle with AI

With The Creator, the director has looked closely at his previous work, as well as other franchises. For example, The Creator has a similar setting to Star Wars film Rogue One, but also seems to borrow elements from Terminator and perhaps even The Last of Us. Edwards seems to have taken inspiration from so many different films and series that at times it might want to be too much in one. As in Terminator, a bomb falls on Los Angeles in The Creator.

The Creator ironically deals with a topic that is gigantically relevant right now: AI. For those who missed it, there is currently a strike going on by actors and writers. Their main concern is the (partial) takeover of their jobs by artificial intelligence. A legitimate concern. It already happened, for example, that the intro to Secret Invasion was made with AI. In The Creator, the pursuit of AI is no different. At first it seems like a fairly friendly relationship between humans and AI, but eventually things get more and more out of hand. It even goes so far as to create a war between the United States and the robots. This eventually causes – as in Terminator – a bomb to fall on Los Angeles.

To win the war, the army of AI robots has developed a weapon built by the great creator and architect of the AI army. It is up to Joshua, played by John David Washington, to find this weapon. Soon it turns out that the weapon is not an object or anything, but resides in a child. So Joshua is recruited to track down and kill the child, but eventually builds a bond with the subject as we saw in a similar way between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us.

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As big a screen as possible

We ourselves attended the press screening of The Creator in the IMAX theater of Pathé Arena. Therefore, I highly recommend watching this film on as big a screen as possible. Normally I don’t really care whether I watch a film in a movie house or in a larger venue, but The Creator is mainly about graphic splendor. The film was shot with relatively simple and small cameras for a film production, but there is little evidence of that. A Sony FX3 was reportedly used to shoot the film.

Still, with a relatively small budget of 80 million, Edwards and his team manage to make one of the finest sci-fi films of recent years. The film’s locations, most of which are set in Thailand, look truly stunning, but that’s just the beginning. In fact, you are constantly licking your eyes and looking at the screen with what all there is to see. In addition to the beautiful locations, this also manifests itself in the strong design of the film. The suits, weapons and spaceships show well where director Gareth Edwards’ experience comes from. The design of the robots is also quite unique, with a kind of mechanical cavity where ears should be.

For example, there is a giant moving space station from the US military called Nomad. This ship scans its surroundings, allowing it to take out both large targets and small targets with unprecedented precision. It’s a bit like Jaws, where you constantly feel that danger is lurking. The design of this ship is already iconic. It will be because of the budget, but that makes it a shame that there are otherwise only a few different ships in the film. I would have liked to see what else they could have done, just because everything else looks so slick.

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Doesn’t have to rely on the script

Although the graphic splendor is displayed in near-perfect fashion, there is still plenty to be said about the script. Let’s just say that the story is not extremely complex, but rather more reminiscent of a generic blockbuster. This is a shame, precisely because other parts of the film are so well developed. Consequently, it lacks the extra step to make The Creator truly an unforgettable experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the story is certainly not bad, but is a bit one-dimensional at times. This is reflected in the main characters, Joshua and the child named Alphie. These are mostly concerned with the same things throughout the film. Joshua has one stand and that is being angry. Actor John David Washington can do little else about that, as he acts strongly. As a result, the bond between Joshua and Alphie is very believable.

The element of surprise wasn’t really present in The Creator either. Sometimes the film did try to catch you off guard, but really, as a viewer, you always saw it coming far in advance. This makes The Creator primarily a delicious popcorn movie, supported by a brilliant soundtrack. That makes it a film you would like to see in the theater, but don’t expect an earth-shattering experience.

Gareth Edwards delivers a visually stunning sci-fi film with The Creator, which harkens back to elements from his previous work such as Rogue One and other well-known franchises. Although the script is somewhat generic and lacks surprises, this is offset by stunning graphic splendor and a strong cast. The film deserves to be experienced on a big screen and offers overwhelming visual splendor, albeit without groundbreaking impact.

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