Cert: 12 A
Director and SFX ace Gareth Edwards’ very first feature, the terrific sci-fi adventure Monsters, quickly cemented him as one of the most exciting new British directorial talents. Edwards is now back with The Creator, another sci-fi adventure in which he broaches one of the hottest questions of the moment: can humans and AI ever exist in harmony side by side.
In a future where America has declared war against all AI beings, John David Washington is Joshua, a hardened ex-special forces soldier pining over the disappearance of his pregnant wife Maya (Gemma Chan). Joshua is subsequently recruited by Howell (Allison Janney) to hunt down and kill the man they call The Creator, a scientist who became sympathetic to the plight of innocent AI creations.
Joshua and his team of elite operatives fight their way across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory, only to discover the weapon they've been instructed to destroy, is in fact an AI in the form of a young child (played by brilliant newcomer Madeleine Yuna Voyles). The rest centres around Joshua's own feelings of guilt and inner turmoil as he eventually seeks to put an end to decades of bloodshed and senseless suffering.
After a brief flirtation with one of Disney's most beloved franchises in Rogue One - a standalone Star Wars story largely regarded as one of the best in the current franchise - it’s easy to see how Edwards has managed to harnessed his passion for 70s sci-fi epics in the making of this truly masterful piece of cinema. There are not only shades of the original Star Wars trilogy throughout, but Edwards' film also frequently pays homage to the likes of Blade Runner, Mad Max or even Terminator 2.
While it’s true that their film’s biggest strength resides in its meticulously crafted world-building, Edwards and co-writer Chris Weitz deliver a poignant piece of commentary on the advancement of AI and whether we should really feel threatened by it.
This is a masterful piece of original sci-fi that despite its obvious inspiration still manages to be hugely impressive in every single way. It’s clear that Edwards is a long way away from his micro budgeted debut - Monsters cost a mere $500,0000 to make in 2010 - but his film doesn’t for one single second feel like anything we’ve seen before. Everything from its beautifully complex existential message to the barely disguised anti-war directive feels unique and beautifully constructed.
Edwards' ability to use CGI with such admirable restraint seldom goes unnoticed, nor does Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer’s breathtaking cinematography. The whole thing is also nicely tied together by a roaring score courtesy of multi Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who once again finds himself attached to real winner here.
See it on the biggest screen you can find, and who knows it may even change your mind on a range of issues, including on the so called dangers of AI advancement.