Let’s dive deep into The Creator – a gorgeous ride through a world where cutting-edge technology blurs the line between memories and reality. This movie is easily my favorite John David Washington film to date. The Creator, at its core, has some serious strengths that make it a successful movie. Gareth Edwards directs a film starring John David Washington, Gemma Chan, and his go-to guy Ken Watanabe. The music in the film is by the uncanny Hans Zimmer. Let’s break down The Creator into “The Good” and “The Bad”, shall we?
Mind-Blowing CGI: First and foremost, let’s talk about the CGI in The Creator. It’s not just good; it’s mind-bendingly good. The visuals are so stunning that you’ll question whether you’re watching a movie or peering into the future. Every frame is a work of art, and it’s evident that the creators spared no expense to bring this world to life. There are moments in which The Creator feels like we’re watching a movie so much like our own that it doesn’t always feel like a movie. This alternate-history film in which humanity adopts AI is so similar to our own that it feels prophetic. That’s a testament to how beautiful The Creator is and how well the movie is put together. There are moments when you will absolutely forget that you are watching something that doesn’t actually exist and you’ll feel like you’re seeing something from our very own future, which is amazing.
Perfect Pacing: Pacing can make or break a movie, and The Creator gets it just right. It tricks you with an opening montage that might make you think you can relax for a bit. But don’t be fooled! This movie lures you into its world with a false sense of security and then smacks you with current events. There’s a gradual immersion into the world and aesthetics of The Creator that I love. The movie borrows from a few different genres but is able to blend them all into a beautiful package. There’s a moment when you feel like you may be watching a buddy cop movie. There are other moments when you feel like you are watching a revenge tale. But ultimately you are watching a provocative movie about a man and his views on what defines a family.
A Classic Wolf and Cub Tale: The Creator is, at its core, a classic Lone Wolf and Cub Story, but it’s wrapped in a futuristic package that makes it feel fresh and intriguing. John David Washington’s portrayal of Joshua, a man who lost his entire family as a child, is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. His journey to craft a new family and the lengths he’d go to for one more precious minute with them will hit you right in the feels. John David Washington delivers my favorite performance of his career in this film. Teaming up with Alfie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) is adorable. I love how The Creator makes it difficult to care for them together but these two grow on you as their bond grows in the story. There are scenes when it seems like Joshua is ready to throw Alfie in the trash because she’s “not real”. This view absolutely changes as we watch the movie and humanize her as a character. This is a testament to a good story with great performances.
Speaking of performances, I FINALLY get that hint of Denzel in JDW’s work that I’ve always wanted. John is able to make me really care about his story and his determination. There’s something that really resonates about Joshua’s desperate attempts to reunite with his wife that works really well. Joshua is a character who doesn’t give a flying EFF about the mission or your war. His unwavering focus on his wife is something to be admired. You’ll witness his transformation as he gets to know Alphie, and it’s beautifully portrayed.
Ken Watanabe: Need I say more? Ken Watanabe‘s presence in the film is a cherry on top of this cinematic sundae. His performance adds gravitas and depth to the narrative, and he delivers every line with the gravitas we’ve come to expect from him. I really enjoy what his character represents in the film. The Creator makes you have a tough conversation about views on AI as a whole. Ken’s character, Harun, is an advocate for the acceptance of AI, the opposite of Joshua’s view. Each has a very strong argument for the acceptance or dismission of AI’s use in the world. It’s interesting how the film puts a face to these views putting things in an unexpected light. How can you condemn an idea when it has a face? What if the face is the face of someone you love? This is a movie that really forces you to critically think about these concepts. The Creator manages to humanize things and Ken Watanabe is the face of that.
A Unique Directorial Approach: While this might not be the director’s signature style from previous works, it fits like a glove here. It’s as if John David Washington channeled all his past roles, from “Malcolm and Marie” to “Tenet,” and crafted a well-rounded performance as Joshua. The director’s approach to storytelling brings out the best in John and the rest of the cast in the narrative. There are moments where JDW channels his sense of wonder and curiosity that he used in Beckett. Sometimes he is able to nail some comedic timing like he used in Amsterdam. There are some genuinely tender moments where he shares his vulnerable side like he did in Malcolm and Marie. Gareth Edwards was able to pull out the best of this cast and this is evident in every scene.
A Familiar Echo: While The Creator has a lot going for it, it does have a familiar echo of previous sci-fi works, particularly Neil Blomkamp’s “Elysium” and “District 9.” While this might not necessarily be a bad thing, some viewers may find themselves wishing for a bit more originality in the storytelling. The movie is unapologetic with its inspiration with hints of Star Wars, Blade Runner, Foundation, and others all throughout. This may be a disappointment to some looking for something that feels truly unique. In fact, it would require a lot of convincing that this story doesn’t take place in one of those other stories. That’s just a testament to how indistinguishable The Creator is from the stories that inspire it.
In a world where memories can be uploaded and robots can feel like family, The Creator is a wild, emotional journey. The movie will absolutely leave you pondering what you’d do for just one more minute with a loved one. Do you like the idea of AI and how it can enrich your life? Are you the kind of person who sees AI as a threat and requires regulation? Either way, The Creator will try to make you question your decision and give some argument to both sides of the conversation. So, grab your popcorn and prepare to be wowed by a beautiful film, even if it does tread some familiar ground in the sci-fi genre.
The Creator: Gareth Edwards and John David Washington Overdeliver
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/109/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 8/108/10
- Setting/Theme - 9/109/10
- Watchability - 10/1010/10
- Rewatchability - 8/108/10