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the creator

★★★★★

starring: john david washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, gemma chan, and ken watanabe

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds the secret weapon, a robot in the form of a young child.

2023 will go down as a definitive year in cinema; a real changing of the guard. The box office behemoths of Oppenheimer and Barbie prove that while audiences still want to see some beloved franchise films, they also want original cinematic works of art, crafted by master film makers at the very height of their craft. The Creator, an original sci-fi epic, continues this trend. 

 

A sci-fi classic in the making, The Creator is one of the most imaginative, soulful films in recent memory with a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking tale, stunning world building, and a superb cast. One of 2023’s best films. 

 

From director/co-writer Gareth Edwards (“Rogue One,” “Godzilla”) comes an epic sci-fi action thriller set amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence. Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma 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 (Madeleine Yuma Voyles).

 

For what seems like years, audiences have been crying out for original fare in cinemas. While director Gareth Edwards borrows from classic sci-fi and war films, this is as original as it comes. And while the story beats may seem familiar, Edwards adds a flourish or twist to proceedings that subvert your preconceived narrative perceptions. The danger with certain elements of the tale (no spoilers) would be to ratchet up the emotion, but Edwards resists, and in doing so adds a genuine emotional weight to the final act. 

 

The world crafted here is hands down astounding. There is so much detail and care given to the world building that you feel like you could reach out and touch, taste, and smell it. When I discovered that the budget of The Creator was 80 million I was absolutely floored. To accomplish the scale Edwards has on such a relatively small budget for this kinda movie is miraculous. Also, the score from Hans Zimmer adds so much gravitas to proceedings with sound design to match. 

 

Can we cast John David Washington as the lead of everything going in Hollywood? This guy is a star on the rise, bringing humanity and weight to the character of Joshua. Madeleine Yuma Voyles as the Child brings is astounding - definitely one to watch. 

A sci-fi classic in the making, The Creator is one of the most imaginative, soulful films in recent memory with a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking tale, stunning world building, and a superb cast. One of 2023’s best films.

★★★★★

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