THE CREATOR. Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson and Madeleine Yuna Voyles. Directed by Gareth Edwards. Rated M (Science fiction themes, violence and coarse language). 133 min.
This American science fiction action thriller is written by Gareth Edwards and Cristopher Weitz from a story written by Edwards. It tells the story of special agent, Joshua (Washington) whose wife has disappeared, and he has been recruited to hunt down and kill a weapon called, ‘The Creator’, which has the power to end the human race.
Events take place during a war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence (AI). The Creator is the architect of advanced AI. Moral fault lines are crossed in the film when Joshua discovers that the weapon that he is instructed to destroy is an AI robot in the form of a young child by the name of Alphie (Voyles), to whom he has become emotionally attached and is linked to his wife.
This is a film that pursues the boundaries of AI as an intelligent threat. It constantly fuses who is human with what is not. The film is set during a post-apocalyptic conflict between humans and the forces of AI. AI detonated a nuclear warhead in Los Angeles, and the denotation began the war between humanity and AI-led robots and AI systems of destruction. The film becomes a tale of the friendship between a robot, Alphie, who looks and behaves like a child, and Joshua, a soldier, who finds himself forced to oppose his own kind to remove what he knows is threatening the world. The movie journeys to the dark heart of AI-occupied territory. Joshua is emotionally reluctant to kill a young child. Humans in authority around him, are ordering him to kill the robot-child, and he can’t. The cinematography of the movie is impressive. It paints landscapes in detail to emphasise the forbidding nature and potential threat of AI. The action sequences are intense, and the special effects are impressive.
The film’s picture of the contemporary world is dominated by cutting-edge AI technology, and the film explores the boundaries of human imagination to make its points. In the film, AI is the ultimate aggressor, and proceeds in a genuinely threatening way. In an all-out war between AI and humanity, however, the film tries to convey the message that moral behaviour might still win against the threat of a technologically driven world.
The movie is about what it means to be human. It demonstrates how difficult that battle is becoming, or could be so, in the very near future, as AI becomes even more central to human life. Special effects of forces at war blur the force of the film’s moral message, but the film has a message that needs to be heard.
20th Century Studios
Released 28 September