The Creator (2023) – Film Review
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Allison Janney
By Roger Crow
Once in a blue moon, there comes a sci-fi epic that’s not a sequel, an adaptation of a comic or video game, and has a vast scope and scale that genuinely amazes.
Years after helming one of the best Star Wars movies, Rogue One, Brit director Gareth Edwards is back with The Creator.
Imagine if James Cameron, Akira’s Katsuhiro Otomo, Neill Blomkamp, the much-missed Syd Mead and a few other visionary types merged with Edwards and made a movie. This is the result.
Boosted by the presence of John David Washington as Taylor, the hero who goes on an epic journey with a hybrid human/cyborg child, there are times this feels like Apocalypse Now with robots. If Sarah Connor had clashed with Terminators in Nepal, this would sort of be the result.
“A feast for the eyes and soul”
Edwards burst onto the sci-fi scene years ago with his micro budget hit Monsters, which cleverly merged VFX with on-location footage to brilliant effect. He was then snapped up for a Godzilla reboot, and that paved the way for Rogue One. This is his first proper stab at a non-franchise project since Monsters, and it’s a feast for the eyes and soul.
Never has a year been more about the pros and cons of AI, and the movie, released at a time when the Hollywood strike over the AI threat to jobs has been prevalent, tapped into that fear.
Like District 9, which examined apartheid with a sci-fi twist, this examines a brave new world where humans and AI-droids can live together while an orbiting gun platform wanders the earth threatening everyone.
In the mix is gravel-voiced Ralph Ineson as a top brass military type, and a barely recognisable Allison Janney as a kick-ass soldier with a grudge against the droids.
“Room for a sequel”
There are echoes of Blomkamp’s Elysium, and assorted anime epics, but this is still impressive stuff from a superb film-maker who coaxes fine turns from his leads.
Madeleine Yuna Voyles is remarkable as the young heroine, and the fact it only cost $80million is staggering. The film looks like it cost three times the amount thanks to filming in some fantastic locations. Certainly cheaper than building the sets.
There is room for a sequel, though it’s anyone’s guess whether that will happen. Ideally seen on a huge screen, though I watched as a digital download, and wished I had seen it at a cinema. And now I feel like I need to see it again to soak up that incredible attention to detail.
An astonishing creation.