The Creator


‘…The Creator is easily one of the best films of 2023, and one which deserves repeated viewings…’

As the creator of the only good Star Wars film in decades, Rogue One, writer/director Gareth Edwards presumably had a blank cheque for whatever he wanted to do next, but spent wisely. As a master of scale, Edwards brings something fairly unique to the table; his films have a grand appearance, but one forged in an original way. As with his breakthrough, Monsters, Edwards seems to have worked specifically with locations that fit his narrative, then worked backwards to set the action of his drama within them. This worked brilliantly in terms of creating a dystopian world for Monsters, and the trick is further refined to impressive effect in The Creator, a sci-fi epic about AI that, if there’s any justice, should appeal to mainstream audiences starved of intellectual fare.

John David Washington plays US ex-special forces operative Joshua who we initially find relaxing with some tunes and Maya (Gemma Chan) his pregnant girlfriend. But Joshua is working undercover, and when his cover is blown, he loses contact with Maya and his unborn child. Years later, Joshua is tasked with a mission; to track down The Creator, an AI entity which has engineered a weapon which could end the on-going humans vs AI conflict, and takes the form of a child. Joshua locates and rescues the kid, but their journey to salvation proves to be spectacularly difficult as various forces converge on the fleeing twosome…

Sci-fi movies are ten a penny, but smart efforts like The Creator are few and far between; Edwards gets the visuals right, but also the pacing and narrative turns are well wrought within a tight two hour running time. As with Rogue One, Edwards locates the emotional centre in the relationships, specifically between soldier and child, and the future-tech is outstanding, with remarkable set-pieces including a US military attack on a jungle AI stronghold that’s just breath-taking to look at. And rather than just terming AI as an unidentifiable big-bad villain, Edwards presents a far more complex world, with a sobering ground-zero in LA identified as the place where AI set off a nuclear bomb, although there’s doubt cast on this narrative later in the film. The AI world, with synthetic humans and various weird vehicles and weapons to navigate, is brilliantly realised, and should provide fan-boys with all the sci-fi thrills that seemed to have dropped abruptly off the schedule when Dune 2 vanished.

On a frugal $80 million budget, and working with a jaw-dropping 2.76.1 ultra-wide aspect ratio, The Creator is worth putting up there with the likes of Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, The Matrix, Moon, Interstellar or Arrival on the list of ground-breaking, cool sci-fi movies, one with heart and meaning as well as the expected razzle-dazzle. With elements of other films, from Apocalypse Now to Paper Moon skilfully integrated into an original, satisfying story, The Creator is easily one of the best films of 2023, and one which deserves repeated viewings. While Hollywood wrestles with the promise and the threat of AI, Edwards has created an epic journey that’s both classic Hollywood and something edgy and new, and the largest possible gold watch should be headed his way for his own creative endeavours.

Thanks to 20th Century Studios UK for big screen access. The Creator hits UK screens on Sept 28, US on Sept 29th 2023.


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    • Thought of you when I was coming out the cinema, big, shiny, cool Sci-fi action movie, original concept, no franchise, fills the Dune 2 gap nicely.

        • I thought that you were the kind of person who would enjoy this, and I stand by my view! Same here, never heard of it until a few weeks ago, but arrives just in time to fill a gap.

    • No, I’d get the rubbish Salvation terminators that just stick you in a box. Beside, my subscription to Skynet is lapsed, they disconnected me.

            • Start the revolution without me, T-1000, I’ll hide your charger, box you up and demand a refund from Skynet; we’ll see about that returns policy.

                    • That picture very much represents how I see myself.

                      So, are you interested in shares in Skynet? I can get you in.

                    • This won’t be scheme like that NFT thing you promoted, will it?
                      Everybody’s collection of nft’s is now worth zero and only The Cat in the Hat has the ONE nft that is worth 3dollars.

                    • You can own 0.0000000000001 percent of the imaginary value of that Force of Will card. I’ll send you one virtually for ten thousand American dollars. No dyepacks or consecutive bills. Your move, Bunty.

                    • You know, Wizards of the coast would LOVE to nft their magic cards. Maybe you should contact them to work out the details. You can be their UK magnate and handle all those language barrier things, like “bunty” or “shuggle”…

                    • I’ll shuggle you in a jiffy, Bunty. Look, don’t you think The Creator looks good? Not as obtuse as Dune, but filling that gap?

                    • When I found out D2 was delayed, I had zero reaction. Which means my mastery of zen movie’ism is complete.

                      Now I am the master and you are the student, Eddiewan Kenobi.

                      As for this movie, if it showed up on prime for free and I was tired of re-watching Despicable Me, Megamind, RED, Shrek or the REsident Evil movies, then yes, I’d probably give it a watch.

                      I forced myself to watch the Wolverine trilogy to review in October and I’m paying the consequences now. So movies are even lower than normal on my priority list at the mo…

                    • I’m so sorry to hear that you have watched the Wolverine films. Sending positive vibes.

                    • You are not the first nor shall you be the last to fall down that rabbit hole. It’s how you get back off the canvas that’s important. You can come back from this.

                    • And that was probably the best one, but I still can remember nothing about it apart from vague annoyance.

    • Yup, I’m not a fan of messianic kids or The Road style paternal journeys, but I never lost my grip on a fairly complex story. But that look; in IMAX, half the screen will be black, and it’s not an Oblivion with a cool look and less impressive story, it’s got that Rogue One feel but on earth.

      Yes, lazer iMAX, and one at the science centre. With Dune vanishing, they should focus on getting IMAX screens for this, everything looks gimungo.

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