Director and co-writer Gareth Edwards’ new film, THE CREATOR, could be construed as a prescient warning. Billed as a sci-fi action thriller, the story unfolds during a future war between America and Asia.
Following the nuclear bombing of Los Angeles by artificial intelligence, western governments, led by the U.S., ban all AI. Asia, however, continues developing the AI technology, embracing robots as human equals.
When THE CREATOR begins, Joshua (John David Washington), an American undercover soldier, is living an idyllic life on the beach somewhere in southeast Asia with his pregnant wife, Maya (Gemma Chan). His cover is blown, and they are attacked. Maya flees aboard a boat with others and is killed.
Five years later, Joshua is asked to return by Colonel Jean Howell (Allison Janney). His mission is to find and destroy the weapon created by an AI mastermind which is supposed to turn the tide of the war in favor of the East. He is enticed by the possibility that Maya is not dead after all. But upon his arrival in Asia, he learns that this so-called “weapon” is in fact a six-year-old girl, whom he names Alphie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles).
THE CREATOR is all about Washington and newcomer, Madeleine, who beat out hundreds of other applicants for the role of Alphie. Their bond is exquisite and heartwarming. He’s good --- she’s amazing. It’s worth seeing this movie for her performance alone. Ken Watanabe also stars as Harun, an AI warrior. His presence adds gravitas to any film, and though it’s not a huge role, seeing him on screen is always a treat.
Known for directing ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY and GODZILLA, Edwards has been working on THE CREATOR for many years. He developed the premise during a much-needed break following the completion of ROGUE ONE and collaborated on this screenplay with Chris Weitz (ABOUT A BOY). Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of THE CREATOR is that it was shot first with the production design work left until post-production.
Edwards, his director of photography Greig Fraser and production designer James Clyne have created a brilliant backdrop developed in 80 different locations in eight countries. THE CREATOR is visually stunning with incredible editing by Hank Corwin, Joe Walker and Scott Morris. All of this is tied together with a magnificent score by Hans Zimmer.
At two hours and 13 minutes, David was awake the entire time. A rare feat for him, and a good indicator of the quality of Edwards’ sci-fi adventure. A must-see on the big screen!
Opinion: See It Now!
THE CREATOR is a highly imaginative take on a subject that is generating quite a lot of general buzz, namely, what is the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Set over 40 years ahead in 2065, the film is truly a frightening look at a possible future involving the relationship between AI robots and the human race. It is sci-fi at its best --- incredible visual effects, amazing stunts, a fabulous score by Hans Zimmer, and a true sense of pending doom.
In a land called New Asia, humans and AIs appear to be getting along quite nicely. However, a nuclear blast in Los Angeles that killed one million people in an instant is blamed on the AI community. But is that the actual truth?
John David Washington (BlacKkklansman, 2018), stars as Joshua, an ex-special forces agent who is charged with destroying the AI threat. He also is searching for his wife, Maya (Gemma Chan), whom he believed had perished five years earlier. But Col. Jean Howell (Allison Janney), a high-energy opponent of anything AI, convinces him that Maya may still be alive. Washington is heroic and admirable in the role, while Janney’s character is fiercely devoted to her task of eliminating AI. Veteran Ken Watanabe has a major part as an AI named Harun.
As Joshua navigates through his assigned task, he encounters what is determined as the single most dangerous threat to mankind and the Earth itself. This menace --- said to be capable of dominating the world --- is in the form of a six-year-old girl named Alphie. She is played by the incredible Madeleine Yuna Voyles in her movie debut, a performance hard to believe --- she’s all of 4’2” --- in someone so young. She even had the cast in tears during rehearsals. Although director Gareth Edwards and his team received hundreds of tapes from children around the world for the role of Alphie, Ms. Voyles was the first to audition and that was that.
As stated, THE CREATOR features spectacular visual effects from a crew of hundreds. The actors portraying AI creatures who speak English and evince emotions all had the backs of their heads appear to be missing but partially replaced with wiring. Yet after watching these beings for a couple of hours in the movie it seemed practically normal.
The imaginative architect of all this is director Edwards, who co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Weitz, Oscar nominee for 2003’s ABOUT A BOY. One of Edwards’ prior films, MONSTER, received a slew of awards and nominations. He cites Francis Ford Coppola’s APOCALYPSE NOW as an inspiration for THE CREATOR.
Opinion: See It Now!