The Creator is the latest film from Gareth Edwards, which sees humans fighting their own creation in Artificial Intelligence for survival. Despite a familiar premise, the trailers boasted an entirely different kind of sci-fi film in The Creator. However, as this, The Creator review will point out, the film tries to do too much at the expense of any kind of a compelling story.
Please note that this The Creator review will contain some minor spoilers.
Talk About Trying To Do Too Much Too Soon; And All The Time!
Edwards’ The Creator sees a future where man’s own creation, Artificial intelligence, has taken over and threatens to destroy humanity. But instead, the seemingly innocent A.I. characters take refuge in a united Asia, trying to live in peace. The actual movie though, takes the themes from movies about the Vietnam War and transplants them onto a wannabe Sci-Fi epic; and completely fails along the way.
The larger world story is grounded in the story of Joshua Taylor (John David Washington) who fell in love with an Asian woman who helps A.I. against the Americans. Immediately, Joshua proves to be an undercover American who is trying to get close to the Asians to discover the location of the titular, Creator of A.I. To destroy him. And this is only in the first 5 minutes of the movie.
The Creator’s Story Leaves More Questions Than Answers
While The Creator could tell a great story that would match the intended scale, it ultimately provided a superficial look at the themes it tries to cover. The story could be a commentary on a country’s xenophobia, its reaction to dealing with refugees or immigrants, or even saying something about the dangers of A.I. in the real world. But it doesn’t do any of those things. It actually feels like it doesn’t want to deal with those themes, instead choosing superficial visuals and a spectacle-filled experience.
The story itself doesn’t earn any of its emotional moments. And that’s simply because the pacing doesn’t allow any of those moments to sink in, before the story races on to the next scene, or the next plot point. And speaking of, it’s also upsetting when a movie conveniently introduces a brand new concept in the middle of a plot point, just to get the characters to the next scene. It feels lazy and insulting to the audience’s intelligence. So instead of a convincing resolution, we’re left with more questions about the brand-new thing they just crammed into the story.
The Creator Review Is Mostly Spoiler-Free
While a movie like The Creator could still be enjoyable on the backs of strong performances, I’m sad to say that the strong cast doesn’t save this one. Washington acts his heart out, especially in the second half, however, he’s held back with some clunky lines and scenes that rush all the emotional beats. Gemma Chan is serviceable with the very limited screen time she gets. The same can be said of Ken Watanabe as well.
The visuals of The Creator, on the other hand, are quite impressive. It’s a success in terms of technical filmmaking and special effects that feel quite immersive and flawless. While the world-building is quite expansive, there’s little story, or rhyme as to the why of this world. How did things develop the way they do? Or why is society like this? Instead, we just see visually interesting and curious shots, with stunning VFX. But unfortunately, without the spine of a strong story to support it, those perfections feel flimsy.
Visual Spectacle Does Not Make Up For A Narrative Deficiency
Ultimately, The Creator review can’t recommend this as a worthwhile movie. This could be a great watch in a group setting after its inevitable streaming release. It’s meant as a casual watch to marvel at the VFX, the frantic pacing, and its exciting action set pieces. But if watching it as a cohesive narrative that has emotional depth or substantive quality, then it would fail to live up to even the lowest of expectations.
The Creator is now playing in theatres.
What did you think of The Creator? Let me know in the comments below, or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid to discuss more about this and other movies.