Well, it’s time to finally take a look at The Creator, the latest big science fiction movie featuring an original script. When I say original, what I really mean is that the movie isn’t connected to any of the franchises. If I see another sequel, prequel, or requel to all the popular science fiction franchises, I’m going to shit myself. Also, when I say original, I mean that in the loosest sense of the word. Mostly because the movie features a story we’ve all heard a thousand times before. Granted, this time, they added a little twist that makes it more bearable but still. We will be following, Joshua, a skilled operative looking for an elusive programmer Nimrata, and his latest AI weapon.
Yes, The Creator features all the buzzwords it needs to feature in this commercial day and age. And absolutely all of them were handled in a superficial way. At this point, you’re probably wondering if this movie is actually worth watching. And I’m here to tell you that yes, yes it is. First of all, the worldbuilding is fucking phenomenal. Fuck the main story, I want to learn more about this future. In fact, I think this would’ve been a much better movie if they avoided this big “save the universe” plot. However, then we wouldn’t get these big action scenes. And there will be a lot of them.
Not only we’ve got a huge ship in orbit raining down missiles every thirty minutes but there are also all these cool laser shootouts. And I love how they’ve done those. They seem like they’re straight out of a video game. In fact, the whole movie feels like one big video game. The setting is absolutely gorgeous as we will spending a lot of time in New Asia. In translation, we’re talking about futuristic Thailand. These vistas with rice terraces combined with futuristic buildings, robots, and shit look amazing. And quite believable too. To stay on the action bit a bit longer, we also have some pretty creative warfare going on.
Those suicide robots are absolutely terrifying and I can already see the military-industrial complex scrambling to see if they could make something like that. And those giant vehicles we can see during the intense final fight remind me so much of the Siege tanks from StarCraft video games. They are formidable war machines well worth the wait. To get back to the robots or simulants for a bit, I just loved how they moved. This is probably the first movie I’ve ever seen featuring robots that move like humans. They sit and walk just like a human would sit and walk. That little decision makes all the difference.
This, along with several other elements, makes this movie feel so refreshing. And definitely worth watching. The Creator features an aesthetic so memorable and creative that it’s a shame the main story is such a lame one. I went back to our Rabbit Reviews news about this movie to see how I fared and I wasn’t far off. I even fucking guessed how the movie is going to end, although that one kind of seemed obvious. Those scenes feel forced, standing out from the rest of the movie. I mean, that entire sequence aboard NOMAD during the ending was almost ridiculous.
You can clearly see that they wanted to have a “classical ending” for the movie and they didn’t care if it made any sense. As I’ve said so many times in the past, I love Rogue One and Gareth Edwards really made a good movie there worth watching again and again. However, I feel like the plot and the writing, in general, are kind of weak here. I didn’t care about any of the characters or about any of their actions. The melodramatic scenes didn’t help with that. And again we had this tired old gimmick of a “special kid” saving the world with an ex-military guy with a chip on his shoulder.
One of the more recent examples is The Mandalorian although I’m sure you’re already coming up with a few others. And yet I’m such a science fiction fan that I’m willing to forget about all of that in exchange for an intriguing world. The only director capable of making that type of science fiction epics is Denis Villeneuve. He proved it first with Blade Runner 2049 and then again with Dune. Did you know that I have Dune ready to go at any moment? I think I’ve watched it at least 20 times. I think I’m going to watch The Creator just a couple of times.
Although those humanoid robots with a hole in their head get me every time I see them. There’s something just so effectively unnatural about their appearance that they’re inherently attention-grabbing in each fucking scene. The robots or simulants, as they’re called in this movie, also elicit a very important ethical question. The movie uses it a bit too bluntly at times but the question of whether they’re alive is entirely valid. Sadly, they’ve also missed an opportunity to develop further the cyberpunk theme but I guess this isn’t that kind of a movie.
Overall, it reminds me the most of Neill Blomkamp’s trilogy consisting of District 9, Elysium, and Chappie. Each of them offers a different perspective on our not-so-bright future also featuring a story that’s much more focused and realistic. Dare I say less formulaic and melodramatic. The old saying a mile wide but an inch deep applies perfectly to The Creator. Perhaps the only motive that’s explored sufficiently is the Vietnam war one. They just wanted it in the background, never trying to make something more of it and that’s exactly how it turned out.
I’ve also noticed that a lot of people were not happy with John David Washington in a lead role. I, on the other hand, found it quite refreshing. If you don’t remember him, he’s that guy from Tenet, another big science fiction movie. Ken Watanabe and Madeleine Yuna Voyles were also good. Amar Chadha-Patel who plays Omni was in just a few scenes but he has an impressively imposing screen presence. Finally, I do want to say that The Creator is much, much better than Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Gareth Edwards, Chris Weitz
Cast: John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Allison Janney
Fun Facts: The entire movie was shot on Sony FX3 cameras which cost only around $5000.