Opening 28 Sep 2023
Gareth Edwards’ film, The Creator, takes audiences into a future that seems more feasible than science fiction—a hybrid sci-fi. The director and co-writer Chris Weitz’s ambitious project meets expectations and begs for communication afterward. Societies should be questioning the imminent future of uncontrolled technology more, particularly when it spawns entities whose capabilities are universally undetermined, the gradual loss of integrity in politics and remember, when guardrails collapse repercussions are untethered.
Special forces Josh Taylor (John David Washington) is concurrently caught in an undercover operation and a traumatic experience with wife Mya (Gemma Chan) at their beach house, and news coverage commemorates the nuclear attack on Los Angeles, California, ten years ago to the day. Fast-forward five years: the now ex-special forces guy is grieving and just existing when military brass come calling; General Andrews (Ralph Ineson) and Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) need Taylor’s help because of his familiarity with New Asia. Recruited again, albeit Joshua has an ulterior motive, onboard the USS NOMAD—Humanity’s Hope, the mission is finessed. Joshua’s target is the nimble evasive designer of advanced artificial intelligence, the Creator, whose newest mysterious weapon’s capability is touted to end the war, and mankind. The Creator must be found and destroyed at any cost. The team go behind enemy lines, they take huge risks while ferociously fighting, they barely reach the inner sanctum and … Joshua is stunned. He christens the child-form Alfie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles). With Harun (Ken Watanabe) and guards in hot pursuit, Josh concentrates on his underlying motive; ever a friend, Drew (Sturgill Simpson) and Kami (Veronica Ngo) help him. Josh is close as long as he and Alfie’s luck holds.
The cast performances are noteworthy, particularly in that the film’s screenplay balances on a premise vulnerable to misinterpretation, yet neutral with neither android nor human censure. Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer, filming in classic deep, rich 2.76:1 ultra-wide aspect ratio cinematography is breathtaking and captivating. To paraphrase Edwards, the filmmaking teams hopscotched around the world using guerrilla methods—small crews, natural lighting, and selective sound recording, e.g., the nature sounds during end credits is nice. Locations included Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia, Burma, and Nepal. Visual effects, e.g., AI armies, were added once editors Hank Corwin, Scott Morris and Joe Walker had finalized the edit. Although, inserting chapters into the film were extraneous and effectively slow its natural flow. Hans Zimmer’s score is frosting on the cake.
Edwards’ created an out-of-this-world film that undoubtedly will create thought-provoking dialogue—The Creator is must-see. (Marinell Haegelin)