“The Creator”


Rotten Tomatoes (3.5/5), Metacritic (7/10), Letterboxd (3.5/5), Imdb.com (7/10), TMDB.com (3.5/5)

The subject of artificial intelligence has been all over the news in recent months, with much of the coverage (save for what’s in the business/finance pages) presented in an often-troubling, cautionary light. So, from this, it’s easy to see how it didn’t take long for this topic to make its way into the world of entertainment, as evidenced in writer-director Gareth Edwards’s latest feature offering. This tale about a brutal war between Asia and America over the future of this controversial technology leads to a series of epic revelations, including some that shift the prevailing view of the evils of AI (most notably exposing where the real source of concern about this technology lies). It also serves as a poignant metaphor for the nature of East-West geopolitical relations, the underlying tensions of the conflict represented by the superficial reasons cited as the cause of combat. And all of the foregoing considerations grow progressively stronger and more impressive as the story plays out. However, in the film’s prologue and opening act, the narrative comes across like an uninspired amalgamation of sci-fi tropes culled from an array of other movies and TV series, including “Blade Runner” (1982), “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014), “Oblivion” (2013), “I, Robot” (2004), “The Terminator” franchise and the rebooted version of Battlestar Gallactica (2004-2009), among others. Also, the story, much of which consists of an involved high-stakes pursuit, is overly stretched out at times, a quality that could have been improved upon with some judicious editing. To its credit, though, the picture features excellent special effects, a fair amount of smartly written comic relief and a surprisingly good cast for a sci-fi release (particularly protagonist John David Washington and youthful newcomer Madeleine Yuna Voyles, despite a seriously miscast Allison Janney in a supporting role as an overwrought member of the military brass). “The Creator” is indeed more insightful and thought-provoking than what many of its detractors have said, though it’s understandable how its periodic lapses in originality and inventiveness may be seen as undermining these strengths. Nevertheless, these shortcomings should be taken with a grain of salt, and the film should be given a fair shot for what it has to say about something that’s becoming an increasingly more significant aspect of our lives, something that we had better to learn to understand and live with if we hope to make friends with it as part of our existence going forward.