The Creator Review: AI That Fails To Compute
The line between visionary and derivative can be as thin as a laser beam and Gareth Edwards’ “The Creator” teeters precariously on this line, ultimately plummeting into the abyss of missed opportunities and narrative incoherence. The film, starring John David Washington as Joshua, an Army operative in a dystopian future, promises an exploration of artificial intelligence ethics but delivers a muddled message wrapped in visual spectacle.
John David Washington’s performance is as emotionally barren as the post-apocalyptic landscapes that serve as the film’s backdrop. His portrayal of Joshua, a character designed to be the emotional fulcrum of the story, is so uninspiring that it leaves the audience disengaged. This is particularly damaging in a film that attempts to tackle complex ethical dilemmas surrounding artificial intelligence. The narrative itself is a labyrinthine mess, rife with inconsistencies that make it difficult for the audience to suspend disbelief. For instance, the film’s stance on the legality of AI is paradoxical, showing the U.S. Army both utilizing and combating AI technology.
While “The Creator” aspires to join the ranks of thought-provoking science fiction like “Blade Runner” or “Ex Machina,” it falls woefully short. Its attempts at social commentary are as superficial as its characters, lacking the depth and nuance that could have made it a genre-defining film. The visual effects, although technically impressive, serve as mere window dressing, unable to mask the film’s narrative shortcomings. Even the robots, designed to have human-like faces, end up looking distractingly artificial, further distancing the audience from the film’s world.
However, the film does break the mold in its visual aesthetic, thanks to cinematographer Greig Fraser and the visual effects team at Industrial Light & Magic. The sweeping landscapes and intricate set pieces are a feast for the eyes, but they can’t compensate for the film’s lack of substance. The film also ventures into cultural appropriation, particularly in its portrayal of Asian elements, adding another layer of complexity to its already convoluted message.
“The Creator” is a film that promises much but delivers little. Its narrative inconsistencies, lackluster performances, and superficial attempts at social commentary make it a disappointing addition to the science fiction genre. For those able to turn off their brain, we’re sure the visual flair’ll wow them, much like fireworks can enthrall a child, but anything more substantive will fail.
RATING: 2.0 out of 5.
The Creator releases to theaters on September 29th, 2023.