Charles Merritt is surprised how much he enjoyed this sci-fi movie.
The Film: The Creator
Watch if you liked: Rogue One, Avatar, Blade Runner
Running time: 135 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi, War
Overview: When Joshua discovers that the secret weapon AI has developed is a child, he must decide which side he fights for - AI or Humanity?
What you liked:
I’ll admit, when I saw trailers for this film I thought it looked too try hard and generic. I was completely wrong.
This film is gorgeously put together - Gareth Edwards has done a phenomenal job of creating a new Blade Runner for this generation. (Although I fear this too will be a box office bomb… so go and support it if you can!).
John David Washington continues to be a strong lead and I really hope he can land subsequent big parts because he does such a good job holding the balance between emotion and action. Madeline Yuna Voyles makes a brilliant debut as Alphie, the child weapon, and I’m sure this is just the beginning of her bright career.
I can’t believe that I began to feel sympathetic towards the AI - especially given my concerns over the AI revolution which has been taking place recently.
The conflict feels real, as though you were watching a historical drama. Perhaps the echoes of Vietnam help this sense of realism - especially given the pitting of Northern America versus Asia. There are plenty of moments that remind you of the brutality of war and the senseless bloodshed - it’s not glamourised or made to feel as though there are no stakes. There are high stakes throughout- both global and personal.
Hans Zimmer delivers another epic score - he’s a master at work, elevating already tense and moving scenes to perfection.
No spoilers but the film ends with a beautifully poignant shot. It’s a good feeling when you say in your head ‘cut to black’ and the film does.
What you didn’t like:
Allison Janney, although brilliant, did not sell herself as an army general. I’m glad to see her getting more work, she deserves it, and she did great with what she had but there was something missing in her performance. Having said that, her final scene is a delight.
Many of the twists were predictable but none-the-less interesting and well played out beyond the reveal.
Thoughts for parents:
There’s blood, war and swears. Part of me thought it was closer to a 15 than a 12A, I’d probably land on it being a hard 12. Sensitive children will struggle with some of this film, so it might be worth watching for yourselves before allowing any child younger than 13 to watch it with you.
If ‘Mission: Impossible’ made me highly paranoid about AI, The Creator was an intriguing antidote. My fears around AI are how far it’ll go to replacing human input, how many jobs will be lost and what humans will then end up doing with their time if AI does everything for them?
But this film raised an interesting point, is AI the villain or are the humans behind it?
The Tower of Babel comes to mind when watching this film. At what point do we accept that we are at fault of creating our own monsters? At what point do we realise that, in our attempts at becoming all-knowledgable, we are heading headfirst off a cliff into the no return?
The film also talks a lot about heaven. Joshua, Washington’s character, says at one point that heaven is where good people go to when they die.
I’d argue that this is not true. Not all good people will end up in heaven - we believe in a gospel of grace rather than works. But I wonder how many young people know that? Do your young people (and potentially ourselves) believe that good acts are what save us?
Overall, I’d highly recommend seeing this film. Perhaps the one of the best film this year that isn’t based on existing material.