Imagine a world where war and AI are devastating forces. That’s what Gareth Edwards’ The Creator envisions. Set in 2070, following a nuclear blast, the film follows ex-military operative Joshua (John David Washington). He is recruited to find ‘The Creator’, who has the power to end the war and all of mankind with a weapon. This dystopian sci-fi isn’t Edwards’ first film: the Welsh filmmaker has previously directed Monsters (2010), Rogue One (2016) and Godzilla (2014) to name a few. The genre certainly isn’t new to him!
Visually, I found the film to be very ambitious. The visual effects ranged between nuclear explosions to individual details on characters’ bodies. One of the film’s SFX artists, Jay Cooper, pointed out that sometimes the latter ones were the most difficult ones, describing them more specifically as the ‘flesh and bone’ elements. Regardless, all of this paid off: the stunning visuals were almost central to the film, with contrasts between beautiful, natural landscapes and scenes of destruction and war. The film manages to transform landscapes, adding to the futuristic backdrop.
The stunning visuals were almost central to the film, with contrasts between beautiful, natural landscapes and scenes of destruction and war.
And for the plot? No spoilers here, but I walked out of the cinema a blubbery mess. I have seen a few reviews that the pace is a little confusing, and I felt that too. A lot of the criticism I have seen has been surrounding the plot – the lack of emotional connection or storyline altogether. Regardless of this, I truly enjoyed watching it. The acting left me in awe. As for the soundtrack, Hans Zimmer worked his wonders. His pieces were an incredible compliment to the plot, providing the perfect undertone when they were needed most.
The Creator asks the audience a wider message on AI. If you have seen Spike Jonze’s film ‘Her’, you will know that Edwards is not the first to explore human-AI relationships. However – small spoiler – Edwards spins this not only into a tale of romantic love, but familial, as he centres the film around a father-daughter relationship. He shows us loss from a non-human perspective, as well as a human one. Alphie’s character (Madeleine Yuna Voyles), in fact, sends a hopeful message out and despite my sobbing, left me feeling optimistic. Despite being the weapon (plot twist!) Alphie acts as a force for good. The notion of a sole weapon with control over all technology sounds terrifying upon description. Regardless, we end up rooting for her and perhaps empathise with her the most, with her incredibly human experiences of fear, loss and love, something we have all felt too.
He shows us loss from a non-human perspective, as well as a human one
It has been a big year for sci-fi, with Edwards’ film not being the only one inspired by AI. With its CGI and visual effects, The Creator stands out aesthetically. Just as The Creator wonders how the future of the world will look, the film leaves me wondering how Edwards’ future films will imagine it.