Wednesday, September 27, 2023

The Creator - Movie Review

The Movie: The Creator

The Director: Gareth Edwards

The Cast: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Allison Janney

The Story: 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.

The Review:
Let's get this out of the way right now. Director Gareth Edwards is a very well known filmmaker thanks to having directed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which just happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time and my second favorite Star Wars movie. 20th Century Studios is making everyone painfull aware that this movie was directed by Rogue One which is why I'm leading with this topic. Okay, now that we're done with that, lets talk about the movie.

The story was Edwards' own original idea and was fleshed out over a length of time which usually makes for a more immersive experience as opposed to when a production is pushed out assembly line style. By no means is this an entirely original story, there are a lot of classic storytelling elements that you will find very familiar but where the director, and everyone else involved, really knock it out of the park is with the look and feel and vibe of every detail and every nuance. The movie looks like it could be connected to Rogue One although it very much is not. It's set here on Earth several years into the future.

The topic of AI, and how it is used within this version of our planet, couldn't be more timely right now as a huge debate rages on between scientists, engineers, politicians, and business people all trying to figure out how to use this technology without spiraling into what some might see as an inevitable doomsday cycle. Edwards uses the concept of AI robots being alive as a hot button issue that some believe is true and others believe there are just acting solely based on programing and algorithms. Are the lower life forms or even life forms at all? Definitely a debate humanity has dealt with in some fashion pretty much since we've been around as a species.

I've been a fan of John David Washington for a while, if you didn't know he' the son of Denzel Washington, although I have to say this is by far my favorite performance of his and he's done a lot. This is the first tiem that I feel like he's stepped out of his father's shadow and planted a flag for himself as an actor and performer although I imagine there will never be a time that comparisons aren't made. Alongside Washington is the debut of an amazing young talent in Madeleine Yuna Voyles who was just a delight to watch and I have no problem admitting, she was all up in my emotions a few times near the end of the movie. What an amazing debut performance and I hope she's able to continue, especially if it's within this world in particular.

This year there have been a lot of complaints about incomplete or inadequate quality of special effecs regarding so many blockbuster caliber productions although I am happy to say that this movie suffers from none of that. Nearly every fram of every scene looks about as photorealistic as you could hope for which really helps with being able to fully immerse into the story. All of the big special effects moments played out perfectly from a visual perspective and all of it was new although just familiar enough to not get totally lost in all of the technology.

Wait. I just realized I haven't even mentioned that Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, and Allison Janney are all in this movie and they are all pretty fantastic with the roles they have. I'm hoping there might be more to this story so we can also see more of the characters in this world. There is so much more to tell here and so many interesting characters and story arcs to explore. That being said, I would also be with this movie as it is without ever seeing anything more as the whole thing is just such a satisfying experience from beginning to end.

I'm so happy to have this type of science fiction story telling on big screen theaters with high production values and so much attention to detail. Can we please get more of this? I mean like really well thought out stories, quality acting performances, and high end, nothing held back levels of special effects. It really does make a difference when filmmakers are given the proper time and resources to generate a quality product and this movie is a prime example.

The Verdict:
The Creator is the type of high end science fiction story telling that I want to see more and more of and will never get tired of. Gareth Edwards has created something special and brought to life a futuristic world that is probably closer to our own reality than we might want to admit. This is one of those movies you need to see on this biggest screen you have available to you. IMAX, Dolby, whatever. Just go see it.

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