The Creator is an original sci-fi epic directed by Gareth Edwards, whose previous work includes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Edwards cited iconic titles such as Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial as inspiration sources for this film. In many ways, the movie is a mismatch of themes pieced together from past entries to the genre.
Where can you watch The Creator in the UAE?
The Creator review
The first few scenes in The Creator are 50s-style commercials describing how the rise of artificial intelligence promises a better future for all humankind. AI-powered robots, known as simulants, look like humans and can take on various jobs, including domestic work, factory work, and even law enforcement.
All’s well between humans and their robots until a nuclear bomb flattens Los Angeles. Naturally, the U.S. government wages war on all AI and New Asia, the one area left in the world where robots continue to live side-by-side with the general population. In response, the U.S. army created a space station lovingly known as NOMAD that’s capable of blowing up any target on Earth.
When we first meet protagonist Joshua, he couldn’t be any further removed from all the drama. He’s living an ideal life with his beautiful pregnant wife Maya (played by Gemma Chan, who funnily enough played a sympathetic AI robot in the series Humans) in their New Asian beach shack.
A surprise NOMAD attack reveals that Joshua is undercover and despises the robots, while Maya is a rebel on the AI’s side. The protagonist spent years gaining the trust of the AI simulants, including the stoic Harun (Ken Watanabe), who considered him a brother, married one of the rebels, and got her pregnant.
Poor Maya gets little time to process the knowledge that her beloved husband is an undercover agent using her to get to Nirmata (the titular Creator, responsible for making the advanced human-like simulants) as her escape boat gets blown to bits by NOMAD.
Several years later, the robot-hating Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) persuades a now-retired Joshua to return to New Asia and help the military locate and destroy a new AI weapon capable of ending the war. To Joshua’s surprise, the weapon is a child simulant he nicknames Alphie (played by the adorable Madeleine Yuna Voyles).
Now Joshua is torn between his hatred for AI and his instincts yelling at him to protect Alphie at all costs and maybe find Maya, who may or may not still be alive.
The Creator is a visually striking sci-fi movie worth seeing on the big screen for the imagery alone. The action scenes, the explosion, the fight scenes, and the car chases look amazing and show Edwards’s aesthetic prowess.
The narrative is where the film lacks; it looks like a Frankenstein of sorts in how it ties in elements from other features without blending. The NOMAD is a space station capable of destroying any target it sets its eyes on, it might remind you of a certain Death Star. The man vs. AI war might remind you of The Matrix or The Terminator, but in reverse, as in this movie humans are the bad guys.
The Creator also seems a touch heavy-handed in how it drums up its “robots good” message. Some of the robots are even Buddhist monks. Yet, it fails to give the AI simulant characters any smidge of humanity or personality. Even Alphie’s sole purpose is to be cute and make Joshua question his stance on the war.
To counteract this, the film made its villains cartoonishly evil. Adding a bit of balance to the good vs. evil narrative would have added much-needed nuance to the film.
The Creator is a decent sci-fi movie with stunning imagery and masterful special effects. It’s very much style but not enough substance. However, it’s still worth watching for the visual spectacle alone.
What are other critics saying about The Creator (Video Reviews):
Jeremy Jahns praised the movie’s visuals, story, and performances.
Austin Burked loved the film’s aesthetic but criticized the lack of depth in character relationships
Movies and Munchies enjoyed the film’s visuals and the story. He slightly criticized how predictable the plot was but praised the performances and the world-building.
Lori C. is an entertainment writer who studied Film and Television at University. She watches and reviews films and series from most genres, but some of her favourites include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and True Blood.