Hello Outposters, I’ve just got back from seeing The Creator so this review is hotter than 1980’s Kim Basinger sitting on the surface of Venus and using Deep Heat for sunblock.
As expected this film is visually stunning. Imagine if Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner had a three-way with Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and (early) Neill Blomkamp and all three somehow managed to produce a child. It’s that gorgeous! Unfortunately, that’s all The Creator has going for it. I’m desperately sorry to report bad news again so soon after my Killers Of Flower Moon review but The Creator is all visual and has no substance.
John David Washington leads Gareth Edward’s latest offering and I have to be honest, son of Denzel just doesn’t seem to have that special X-Factor that’s needed to be a leading man. He lacks the cinema gravitas to make you give a shit about any of the characters he plays. But he’s just one of the many problems this film suffers from.
The film starts well and the first half an hour is fantastic. Through archive news channels we get to see humans develop robots from the 1950s as basic household appliances to when the film is set, sometime in the the early 2060s, and the eventual development and everyday use of the AI human-looking robots we see littered throughout the trailer.
We quickly learn that the AI and robots do a Skynet and once they are put in charge of military defence systems, they decide to lay waste to LA with a nuclear bomb. Which, judging by the news footage I see today, is probably a blessing. Moving on.
I won’t go into too much because that could cross over into spoiler territory but I’ll give a brief rundown from the stuff you would have seen in the trailer. As you will know, humans are now at war with AI, well America is anyway. Washington’s character, Joshua, is a cop looking for an AI super weapon that can end all human life and he needs to capture it which will put a stop to the war. The AI has developed this because humans have this gigantic flying space-laser-satellite-thing called Nomad that once overhead of its target, will blow the shit out of it, so the robots need something to fight back.
It’s All Downhill From Here
The movie is riddled with cliche plot points, characters, and dialogue. There is a level of eye-rolling inconsistency and stupidity that it beggars belief. I would say it’s shocking that no one questioned Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz’s script and some of the decisions they made. Then again this is 21st Century Hollywood where everything is just eye candy for the Tik-Tok generation.
Son of Denzel finds the AI super weapon with hardly an inconvenience. It turns out is a robot kid called Alphie (and that’s not a spoiler because that’s in the trailer). Seconds later, the military arrives and lays waste to any AI or human sympathizers. However, Joshua realises the kid can lead him to his supposedly dead wife and decides to risk the lives of billions of people just so he can get his leg over one last time, and so they escape.
Now, I am going to add some spoilers below because it’s difficult to sum up my frustration with this movie without them. Look away now if you want to stay pure!
**** Spoilers ****
Joshua and Alphie escape by avoiding the military and the robots. The military uses news channels and massive video screens ala Times Square to plaster their faces across America. Joshua has a robot arm and leg after having his blown off in the war and yet the military never thought about fitting a tracking device to any of these prosthetics so they can keep track of him.
Instead, they rely on media coverage, video surveillance, and tip-offs from the public. Joshua and Aplhie manage to travel vast distances and wander about without a care in the world. The military gets a tip-off, shows up, and kills people and robots, Joshua and the kid escape again and end up with the robots. Then the military gets more tip-offs, shows up, kills more robots, Joshua and Alphie escape… and copy and paste this scenario for the next 90 minutes.
Talking of tracking devices, it’s just as well the humans are too stupid to fit Joshua with a device because not once do the robots question why the military continuously shows up every time Joshua is in their custody!
Here’s an idea. If Humans have developed AI robots and used them for the military and police, how about you fit these things with night vision instead of having robots tentatively walking through dark fields or buildings with torches looking for any enemies that might be hiding? Which, by the way, they always are and always shoot the fuck out of the robots with ease.
Command C, Command V
Anyway, in one instance, Joshua is captured (again) and aboard a robot boat. The robots come up with the master plan to take Alphie (with Joshua onboard) to the leader of the AI, whom the humans have been looking for since the nuclear bomb. Yep. Could have just killed him but noooooo, these robots have morals.
Joshua escapes from the robots for about the 1000th time, this time by jumping overboard. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure human beings cannot hold their breath underwater for long. Also, the boat is about a mile from shore so he isn’t going far without needing to resurface. So the robots shoot about half a dozen bullets into the water before giving up.
Now, if I was a robot, I would have simply kept shooting into the water until his black arse floated to the top or he came up for a gulp of oxygen. Instead, they just decide to fuck off to the next beautifully rendered CGI landscape. And guess what, Joshua is alive and he’s simply hanging off the back of the boat going along for the ride. Amazing!
Nomad, No Guards
So, the boat arrives at it’s location. Joshua undoes his cornrows before going to meet his supposedly dead wife. The military shows up within minutes and kills more robots and humans. Alhpie is captured again.
Joshua then cuts a deal and goes to see Alphie at the military hold-up. Thankfully no one is concerned about Joshua’s betrayal and Joshua has even found time to tame his afro and give himself some fresh cornrows. That dude is all about his appearance.
Long story short, Joshua and Aplhie escape again and manage to board a plane to the moon. Obviously, they get onboard and unchecked because surveillance cameras and security in 2060 are evidently shite. Using Alphie’s magic powers, she diverts to plane to Nomad – the gigantic flying space-laser-satellite-thing that I mentioned before, and they simply hop on. Easy peasy.
Nomad is being evacuated and that also includes any security guards or military personnel because let’s be honest, why would they be aboard America’s number one sky weapon – sigh. Joshua does his thing of trying to destroy Nomad or whatever – I’ve lost interest and just want to go home. Alphie goes for a stroll and miraculously finds robot replicas of Joshua’s wife. Alphie uploads Joshua’s wife’s consciousness into the robot, but only after he’s dragged her into a man-made crop field that is on this sky weapon for some god-known reason.
Alphie and Joshua destroy Nomad with bombs. Whilst this is going on Joshua puts Alphie into an escape pod back to earth but stays onboard because there’s no room for him even though he now has his cornrows back so his massive afro wouldn’t be taking up space. Alphie cries real tears and even has snot coming out of her nose because robots apparently need these biological traits.
Joshua is then seen legging through the cornfield from earlier and bumps into his not-dead but now robot wife. They kiss, and Nomad blows up and crashes to earth. People and robots on earth are celebrating and even running TOWARDS the falling debris in a jubilant celebration. And I no longer care and all I want to do is go and take a piss after drinking a giant bucket of Dr Pepper.
If I was to sum up The Creator, I would say it was the movie equivalent of one of those Instagram influencer/models. They are good to look at, but take away the filters and fancy locations, and all you have is a hollow shell that is hardly worth your attention.
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