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September 29, 2023 / 20th Century Studios

Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Allison Janney

Directed By: Gareth Edwards

Amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory… only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child.

Written By Darren

Rating 5 out of 5

The Creator is nothing short of a science fiction masterpiece, taking audiences on an incredible adventure full of mesmerizing visuals, rich and emotional storytelling, and sensational world building that is Gareth Edward’s best films and one of the best films of the entire year.

Gareth Edwards has an impressive directorial record, humanizing and grounding big franchise films with the outstanding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2014’s severely underrated Godzilla. But his latest film is truly his magnum opus, delivering a spectacular cinematic experience that is breathtaking, awe inspiring and original. It’s refreshing to experience a new world when so many of the biggest films of the year are based on pre-existing intellectual property or true stories, that with Edwards extraordinary vision for this story he has created, makes for one unforgettable big screen experience.

2065. A war between humanity and artificial intelligence is raging on, after a nuclear explosion caused by artificial intelligence wiped out millions of human lives. Having discovered the location of a weapon created by artificial intelligence that could end the war, Josh, a former soldier, is sent on a mission by the United States government to find and destroy that weapon to win the war for humanity. But when Josh discovers that the weapon is a sentient, child simulant, he is faced with the decision to either protect this young child or ensure that humanity wins the war by killing it.

From the second the film begins, Edwards plunges the audience into the grand world he has envisioned. Slowly and subtly built over the course of the film, it’s impossible not to be sucked into this high-tech vision of the world’s future as it truly is some of the best world building captured on screen in recent years. The story itself is simplistic in terms of plot, a clash between humanity and technology, but it is the themes that Edwards explores in the film and the direction the story goes that makes this one of the most captivating narratives of the year. What makes someone truly alive? Is it because they are human? Or because they can feel and express emotions? This is the crux of what Edwards explores in his original story as he poses the question to the audience of whether the artificial intelligence in the film should be allowed to live or not. Beautifully juxtaposed against the cold, inhuman American military, it’s a different perspective on artificial intelligence than what we normally see in science fiction that allows Edward’s questions to be explored over the course of the film. Aided by parallels to America’s involvement in Vietnam and the cultural and spiritual themes at play, this is one incredible story. At the centre of it all is a beautiful father-daughter relationship between Josh and the child simulant he names Alphie, as Josh expands his definition of what it means to be alive over the course of the film. By the time the film reaches the third act, after a slow start to the film, Edwards creates an emotional and beautiful ending that will tug on your heart strings and induce crying throughout, as you hold your breath as you experience the thrilling conclusion of this one of a kind story.

Visually speaking, the film is stunning from start to finish. Captured in ultra-wide aspect ratio on location, it’s impossible not to get lost in the cinematography of the film. The beauty of real life locations around the world pops on screen, that combined with the natural lighting for many scenes creates a dazzling experience. The set design captures the massive scale of the story, though the CGI seamlessly blends with the practical effects to create one of the best looking films of the year.

Being a science fiction film, it comes as no surprise that the sound of the film is incredible. The sound design captures the high-tech nature of the world from the explosions of the war, the sound of futuristic aircraft flying through the air, and the sound of the artificial intelligence machinery, mixed against the natural sounds of the human world: the sound of water and everyday facets of human day life. While sparingly used throughout the film, Hans Zimmer’s score bolsters the grand scale of the film. The score helps to amplify the emotion of each scene it is used in with his beautiful melodies that capture the intensity of the epic set pieces Edwards creates throughout the film, as well as the intimate human moments that are the heart of this film. Without question, it's another truly incredible composition from Zimmer that continues to solidify him as the best film composer of his generation.

Edwards has assembled an excellent cast to bring his story to life, led by the always great John David Washington. It’s a quiet and subtle performance from Washington that relies heavily on his facial expressions and body language, but the work he does to take Joshua on his journey over the film is impactful and pulls the audience into the film. It only confirms Washington’s talents and his leading man status in Hollywood. Gemma Chan is stunning as Maya, Joshua’s wife, creating a crucial emotional subplot to the film through her graceful and beautiful performance. Though, the true star of this film is Madeleine Yuna Voyles as Alphie. It’s an amazing acting debut from Voyles, who creates the beating heart of the film as she brings to life this inquisitive, compassionate and powerful young being. Her chemistry with Washington is touching, creating one of the best father-daughter like relationships on screen in recent memory. There is a grace to her performance that you do not expect from a newcomer, creating an authentic juvenile character reacting to the struggle she finds herself predestined to be at the centre of, allowing Voyles to deliver a nuanced and stellar performance in every scene.

While every aspect of the film is incredible, it really boils down to Edwards’ direction of the film. With every shot, his design of the world and execution of the story helps to create a truly special film that is refreshing, exhilarating and deeply moving. No detail is spared, no over indulgence is given as Edwards carefully crafts the story, allowing the emotional core to ring loud and clear from start to finish. Frankly put, I could have spent another hour in this world without hesitation and still be left in utter awe of what Edwards has created.

In a time where science fiction blockbusters are dominated by CGI and action sequences, films like The Creator help remind audiences why they fell in love with the genre in the first place. Jaw-dropping visuals, incredible performances, an outstanding musical score from Hans Zimmer, and a story full of rich themes that swings big and delivers an unforgettable adventure are all just ingredients of Gareth Edwards’s latest film, but it his direction and grand vision for the film that makes The Creator a science fiction masterpiece that is destined to become a quintessential classic of the genre!

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