The debate surrounding technology like AI and its application has been ongoing for a long time. Some people feel it’s a tool to be used in service to make the lives of everyone easier, while others fear it can be turned into an instrument of great harm and poor morality. There have been a variety of films that tackle the discussion, taking many points of view for and against A.I. and how it applies to human beings. The Creator is similar in its approach to presenting the dilemma but does so on a grand scale with a bit more nuance to both sides. What results is an epic story that hits on an emotional level, without passing any harsh judgment on either part of the great debate.
The story of The Creator is broken into a few sections, jumping back and forth between different points of time. After advancements in AI really take off, a massive tragedy decimates Los Angeles and causes a split in the world between those who favor the use of robotics, and those who don’t. A man named Joshua Taylor is tasked with finding and killing an A.I. architect named Nirmata but suffers a massive loss after his undercover mission goes awry. Years later, Joshua is given a chance to find a weapon that Nirmata was working on but discovers it to be a robotic girl with amazing powers of technology. As the two of them go on the run, Joshua faces a deep struggle with reconnecting with what he lost and helping to win the war against the A.I. that is believed to have been so destructive. But none of what Joshua was lead to believe is what it seems at all, leading to a personal and global crisis for everyone.
The Creator can get very deep with how it presents the arguments for and against the use of AI by humans. In many scenes, it does a great job showing how well humans and robots live in harmony and how far the technology has grown. There are robots who live like humans, raising families and mourning their dead as any normal person would.
And yet on the other side, there are spots where it’s discussed how much people have lost because of the misuse of A.I. technology. It’s not a simple “this is right and this is wrong” observation of the issue, but rather a complex and layered philosophical debate with real consequences on both sides. The movie does a beautiful job of exploring how complex all of it can really get, both through its action and calmer moments, as well as some twists that may be shocking to some.
John David Washington does a fantastic job as Joshua, going through a wide range of emotions throughout the film. There are some truly heartbreaking scenes with the situations that Joshua finds himself in, most of the time not by his own fault. And yet in the faster or more triumphant moments, Joshua really stands out as a decent and overall good person.
When he finally meets up with the child, whom he eventually names Alphie, that’s when the movie gets really good. Madeline Yuna Voyles has a great presence as the young robot savior, both as an innocent child and possible weapon. Despite not saying a word, you can feel the naiveté and good heart that she has inside, even in the darker moments of the story. Nearly every scene that she and Joshua share on-screen is definitely a highlight of the movie.
There are many other characters throughout the story, with some being more around than others. The majority of them tend to show the more extreme stances on the A.I. debate, whether they are human or robot. It’s not always one side or the other that is capable of the most horrific actions, which really plays with how some viewers will stand on the issue as the story goes on. Ken Watanabe plays the robot named Harun that acts like a brother-in-arms to Joshua, who has some pretty major scenes that will stick with you to the end.
Another standout in the cast is Allison Janney as Colonel Howell. She has a major prejudice against robots because of the loss of her two sons, showing that the deep hatred for AI isn’t always because of the technology existing. You really empathize with her reasoning for being so harshly against the robots on the other side of the conflict, even though she’s willing to cross lines that others will not. On the surface it’s a very cold character that seems irredeemable, but beneath is someone who was truly hurt by the technology taking away so much.
The visual effects and the action in The Creator are very well done. There are some breathtaking wide-view shots that really set up how this world has become intertwined with technology. At the same time, the battles between robots and human squads look tense and chaotic, with terrifying vehicles towering over ground units and decimating them with powerful weapons. A really neat visual is the targeting system of some vehicles that pinpoint their attacks, which exudes a strong sense of dread and urgency on both sides. The same can be said with the giant station that looms over locations, targeting areas with giant laser lights before launching missiles directly to the ground. It simply looks awesome.
If you want a thought-provoking sci-fi movie that still has a strong sense of action, you’ll definitely want to see The Creator when you can. It has the intelligence of something like Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey, but the sense of action from the Star Wars and Avatar films. The debate about A.I. technology won’t be over anytime soon, but this movie will definitely want to explore more sides of it.
What do you think of The Creator? Will you be checking it out anytime soon? What are your thoughts about A.I. technology and robotics? Share your perspective about everything down below in the comment section!
This is a very good story with a lot of intellectual debates that compliment it’s plot. The action looks great with amazing special effects that really stand out. The characters feel layered and interesting, with a lot of great traits that are relatable and understandable, even in their worst moments. There are bigger conversations that will be started from the plot that this movie has, but it does a great job of not condescending one side or the other. What you have here is a truly great sci-fi film that you’ll want to watch as soon as possible.
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