In Conversation about “The Creator”

Fifteen years after an unprompted attack on LA, the West has gone to war with AI When a war-ending weapon turns out to be a five-year-old robot child, battle lines are blurred and long-held beliefs are called into question. John David Washington stars in this original sci-fi story.

Josh Arabia: That’s right, we’re back again this week with a fresh take on the human-A.I. war called “The Creator.” I imagine we’re going to have quite a lot to say about this one, so why don’t you get us started, Haley.

Haley Williams: I’d love to. As per usual, I was a big fan of this movie. I really liked the characters, the score was awesome, and I thought it was a more original premise than a lot of stuff that’s been released recently. I also thoroughly enjoyed the story, though I know you will certainly have something to say about that.

JA: I’ll hedge this by saying I absolutely agree with you on the score, the premise, really the worldbuilding in general. All of those were, to me, spectacular. Where I do take issue, though, is with the plot and writing. I think we ended up with a fairly plain action movie, when the team behind this film really did have the chance to do something truly unique.

HW: I would argue that it is maybe a tiny bit more nuanced than that, but I can understand where you’re coming from. I think Joshua (the character) was obviously conflicted on a lot of things from the start, and we get to see that conflict within him grow throughout the movie. You made a point that the violence got really gratuitous at points, and I fully agree, but I just really don’t have the same problems with the writing itself.

JA: By my count, the “human” side of this war, consistent solely of the U.S. military, fire about half a dozen nuclear warheads over the course of this movie without any real regard for collateral damage. Especially with the backdrop of a part of the world where America really has committed a number of military atrocities, it just ends up feeling incredibly callous, and that definitely hurts the movie in my eyes.

HW: Yeah, the U.S. is like, comically evil with little to no opposition. It got to a point where we were really just going, “Okay, we get it! U.S. bad!” I think viewers are generally smart enough to put those pieces together without literal threats of violence against puppies piled on top of the multiple missile strikes. There were so many other really great aspects to this movie, and this is the one thing for me that ended up detracting from an otherwise phenomenal movie.

JA: I can see where you’re coming from, there were definitely some moments watching this film where I could see something truly brilliant peeking through. I just don’t think it ended up being enough for me. In any case, I think it’s definitely worth exploring the world further, since there’s so much to cover there.

HW: The setting is done so, so well. There were certain set pieces that I specifically remember being like, “Oh my God, that’s going in the review.” It was genuinely beautiful, and magnificent to behold at every turn.

JA: I think this movie took the same approach to Southeast Asia that “Black Panther” took with Africa, borrowing ideas from traditional architecture and landscapes riffing off of them with all sorts of futuristic, technological additions. Credits to the graphics team, it comes off seamlessly and visually stunning; definitely one of the highlights of the entire movie.

HW: One of my huge highlights was the score by Hans Zimmer. It was absolutely stunning, and really great at playing up the drama of the big moments. I especially loved the use of a lot of choral elements, as well as some massive synth chords to hit you with a bit more of a sci-fi score feel. I had a couple of goosebumps moments in this movie, largely thanks to the score.

JA: You know, I never would have guessed you enjoyed it. We’re definitely not listening to the score again as we are having this discussion. But regardless, is there anything else you want to give a rundown of that people should know about “The Creator”?

HW: We have to mention the costumes, which were very realistic while still having just a little bit of a cool futuristic vibe. HUGE PROPS must go out to Madeleine Yuna Voyles, who played Alphie. She killed it so hard, and had absolutely no problem keeping up with the grown up cast members. I also super loved the design of the non-human looking robots. Did I miss anything?

JA: I definitely enjoyed the variety of cool AI designs we got to see. I also thought all the little technological innovations that filled out the background were really cool. It was really the little things for me, I thought the creative team did an awesome job making the world feel full and interesting (other than the nukes).

HW: Final review — despite our grievance, I still have a strongly positive view on this movie. It’ll get a clean, “Goods outweigh the bads,” from me.

JA: I had such high hopes for “The Creator,” and I’ve got to say I’m pretty disappointed. It’s an all right movie, but one that definitely could have been so much more.

Next week doesn’t have much in the way of new releases, so we’ll be throwing it back with some classic vampire horror to get in the spooky season mood. It’s “From Dusk till Dawn.”