The Creator | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
An extraordinary technical and visual achievement held back by disappointing writing, The Creator is an uneven but ambitious science fiction epic that demands to be seen on the big screen. In a world of sequels, remakes and adaptations, getting an original project like this is a real treat, despite its flaws.
Whether you see it as an homage or plagiarism, this movie borrows a lot from other science fiction media. It does it well though, and even when it’s clear where inspiration was drawn from, it doesn’t feel like a rip-off. The major reason it doesn’t feel stale is because of the phenomenal world building we see throughout the story. This future version of earth is so brilliantly realized and full of history. The combination of old world technology and advanced AI beings is entirely organic. This is one of the best science fiction settings we’ve been given in years.
The film is a technical marvel, proving that you don’t need a gargantuan budget to make something look and sound incredible. Made for a modest 80 million by some truly talented people, this puts movies with triple its budget to shame (I’m looking at you, Flash). The CGI is incorporated into gorgeous real world settings seamlessly, and not once was I distracted by something looking out of place. The cinematography by Greg Fraser and Oren Sofer is stunning, with the decision to shoot in rare 2.76:1 aspect ratio lending itself perfectly to the IMAX experience.
The script is where it fumbles, though, with a timely but formulaic narrative about the dangers of artificial intelligence. The way the simulants are humanized leads to a few powerful moments, but there was potential for something so much deeper and more profound. The dialogue is pretty ham-fisted, with a few lines that had me cringing because of how clunky they felt. I’m not totally convinced that John David Washington is leading man material, but thankfully his AI companion in the movie is played wonderfully by Madeleine Yuna Voyles.
The Creator is the kind of big screen sci-fi spectacle we don’t often see anymore, and despite its narrative shortcomings, it’s a sight to behold. It’s a remarkable achievement on a technical level, and that’s more than enough for this moviegoer.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett
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