Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Gareth Edwards, Chris Weitz
Cast: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Allison Janney, Madeleine Yuna Voyles
4.5 out of 5 stars
Runtime: 133 mins
Release date: 28 September in Singapore and 29 September in Malaysia
Every now and then, a special film makes its debut and immediately takes your breath away. This year, a visually stunning sci-fi film by the director who gave us 'Rogue One' is just that. As a fan of sci-fi films – the earlier 'Star Wars', 'Alien', 'Pacific Rim', 'District 9, 'Her', 'Blade Runner', 'Total Recall', 'Arrival' and 'Interstellar' are some of my faves – I dare say only a few characters and imagery have stayed with me over these years.
Then something fantastic and original like 'The Creator' comes along, and blows everyone's minds away.
The Creator has very human questions about Artificial Intelligence
In 'The Creator,' Joshua (Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (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 (Voyles).
Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan plays an important role as Joshua's wife, Maya, who’s been missing for five years and is believed to be dead. In a media statement, Chan was attracted to the script’s big themes, themes like prejudice, grief, family, and the big questions of what it means to be human, what it means to be alive, and whether love can transcend those divides and boundaries between humans and AI.
Commenting on the condition of the world the film depicts, Chan says, “It feels like it could easily be around the corner with the advances that are going on in AI and technology. Who knows what they will be by the 2070s? It doesn’t feel far-fetched; it feels very grounded.”
Lead star John David Washington who also gave us a thrilling performance in BlacKkKlansman, delivered his lines emotionally and strongly alongside newcomer Madeleine Yuna Voyles – whose latter performance I felt deserve an Oscar nomimation (ahem, mark my words).
At the centre of their love story, we get the thrill of a battle between AI bots and humans – but who will win at last? The development of AI over the years has helped humans surpass impossible situations and tasks, but when it falls into the wrong hands, it could pose a threat or danger to humanity.
Alongside the plot, for visuals, instead of shooting with a green screen effect and allowing the animators to come up with creative effects and dynamic backdrops, the director decided to shoot background scenes and have the designers paint over the shots to create the science fiction world on top. The result was a visceral, breathtaking, and immersive world called New Asia, that none of us could even dream of.
Is The Creator a Star Wars movie?
While director Gareth Edwards directed Rogue One (which you can watch on Disney+ now), the two films are not correlated. The Creator is set on Earth while Rogue One takes place in a galaxy far, far away.
Is The Creator worth watching?
This is by far, one of the best and most original sci-fi films I've watched in years and I left the cinema hall feeling enthralled by the whole experience, down to the score by Hans Zimmer and even moved by the choice of songs, that included a Sumatran 80's rock band called Golden Wing.
I urge you to watch on the big screen, the IMAX of course, for a fuller and deeper experience and be prepared to be transported into another world you're unlikely to see before. Oh, and bring a pack of tissues for the touching moments.
The Creator opens in cinemas this 28 September.