Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company
Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

The Creator

also known as “A.I.創世者,” “AI创世者,” “Az Alkotó,” “Kẻ Kiến Tạo,” “Kūrėjas,” “O Criador,” “Resistencia,” “Resistência,” “Twórca,” “Создатель,” “ザ・クリエイター/創造者,” “真爱,” “造物主”
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for violence, some bloody images and strong language.

Reviewed by: Mike Klamecki
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: • Adults • Young-Adults • Teens
Genre: Sci-Fi Action IMAX
Length: 2 hr. 13 min.
Year of Release: 2023
USA Release: September 29, 2023 (wide release)
DVD: December 12, 2023
Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Companyclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company
Relevant Issues

Pros and Cons of developing advanced A.I. (artificial intelligence)

War between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, which is trying to destroy mankind

Androids

Killer robots

Post-apocalyptic story

Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company Copyright, 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company
Featuring John David WashingtonJoshua
Madeleine Yuna VoylesAlphie
Gemma ChanMaya
Allison JanneyColonel Howell
Ken WatanabeHarun
Ralph InesonGeneral Andrews
Sturgill SimpsonDrew
Amar Chadha-PatelOmni / Sek-on / Sergeant Bui
Marc MenchacaMcBride
Robbie TannShipley
See all »
Director Gareth Edwards — “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016), “Godzilla” (2014)
Producer 20th Century Studios
New Regency Productions
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Trademark logo.20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company

When I saw the first “Avatar” film in a room full of moviegoers looking for an amazing experience of cutting edge 3D and new technical strides in cinema, I was expecting to be completely blown-away… and I was… visually. However, I was probably the only one in the theater that walked away saying, “That was not a good movie.”

I was challenged vigorously by my friends who were gushing over the colors, sights and depth of the picture. They couldn’t understand my stance, even after I explained I felt very… what’s the word… manipulated after the viewing. It was basically “Dances With Wolves,” I said, mixed with “Pocahontas” (1995) in space.

The military was bad and you knew it based on the comical scar on the general’s face and the biker-gang looking soldiers. The aliens were pleasing blue, athletically built, huge Disney-eyed cats that were easy to fall in love with. It would not have been as big a hit, I surmised, if the aliens looked like blue xenomorphs or even Admiral Ackbar-ish fish people. Sure the visuals were great, but the story was complete dreck, I said. I found myself walking alone for the rest of the night.

Some of these thoughts came back to me as I was watching Gareth Edwards’ “The Creator.” I am a big fan of Edwards sci-fi documentary style starting with his first film “Monsters” (2010), followed by the game-changing “Godzilla” (2014), and one of my Top 3 favorite movies of the Star Wars franchise “Rouge One” (2016). Like director Neill Blomkamp of “District 9” fame, Edwards has an edgy, realistic and gritty style that works well with a seamless integration of hash reality and futuristic flair. Like “Avatar,” the visuals are stunning and memorable in their own way, but are they compatible with the story’s possible weaknesses?

Immediately we are given a description of events that lead up to the main conflict. Artificial Intelligence has been given some massive pull and power in the culture by the world’s major tech companies which have created autonomous robots to help and serve.

It’s never explained how, but a nuke detonates in Los Angeles, California killing millions of people and causing America to launch a worldwide crusade to destroy all AI life. This is done through the use of the massive and visually arresting NOMAD (North American Orbital Mobile Aerospace Defense), a mammoth space station that emits an eerie blue laser on the targeted landmass to detect AI lifeforms and destroy them with guided missiles (an idea very much like the SHIELD helicarriers in Winter Soldier).

The US military is desperately trying to find the so-called “Nimrata” (a Sanskrit word that translates to The Creator) who, along with the help of the AI, is planning to build a high-tech weapon to destroy NOMAD.

The story comes together with a series of flashbacks involving Sergeant Joshua Taylor (John David Washington) who is an ex-special forces agent assigned a special mission: to live with his “mark” Maya (Gemma Chan) who may be the daughter of the Nirmata. To complicate things, Joshua has fallen in love and impregnated Maya, and, in a military operation gone wrong, she is killed as he is recovered by the military.

Present day shows Joshua, now with robotic prothesis, being approached by the gravelly-voiced General Andrews (Ralph Ineson) and the coldly-shrewd Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) to give him an assignment to find the Nirmata’s weapon. He refuses until he finds out that his dead wife may in fact be alive in New Asia where AI is alive and well and continuing to be mass-produced. He decides to accept the mission.

Joshua is bitter against the AI and believe them to be mindless machines. As he gains access to the secured building that houses the “weapon,” Joshua finds that it’s actually an AI in child-form he names Alphie (very well played by Madeleine Yuna Voyles) who has a secret that will affect him personally. Alphie is an AI type that merges human features with robotic instrumentation (unlike the other AI robots that exist in New Asia that are purely non-organic in nature) which shows Joshua that AI can indeed have the the possibility of emotions.

He and Alphie become more connected as he struggles to get her out of New Asia and back to America. Along the way Joshua feels torn between his mission and his emotions that leads to new discoveries of how human AI has become. When he decides to go against his mission to save Alphie, based on new discoveries he makes, he becomes the new target of the military leaders and NOMAD itself in his quest to find his possibly-alive wife and probable child.

The style of “The Creator” culminated from a bunch of previously successful sci-fi films like “Blade Runner,” “Akira,” “Elysium,” and “Rouge One” itself, plus stylistic nods to “Apocalypse Now.” The budget was $80 million, and it looks absolutely amazing. I saw this in IMAX, and I am so glad I did. The images of AI robots mixed with far-eastern visuals and mysticism create some of the most arresting visuals I have seen this year. As far as looks go, this movie is a true stunner.

The story, however, did give me minor flashbacks to my “Avatar” experience which evoked some feelings of blatant manipulation. The military characters are laughably one-dimensional, and scenes of AI monks dressed in long pulu skirts being gunned down had me rolling my eyes. There is definitely a strong anti-military vibe that you get hit with repeatedly. Some of the fight scenes are very much patterned after any Vietnam movie you have seen in the last 40 years, and having a child as the main centerpiece around which the action flies is something we have seen many times before in sci-fi and other genres. While not as manipulative as I found “Avatar,” there were those cringe elements that stuck out like a sore robotic thumb.

There is strong constant violence to humans and human-like AI with many intense battle scenes. There is no nudity, but the language is fairly strong for a PG-13 (30 Sh*t, 1 F-word (said by the child actor), a few D**m, one SOB, one D**k, and 4 GD or JC).

During their time together, Joshua and Alphie discuss heaven, as Alphie wonders about such a place and who gets to go there. Joshua says if you are good enough you will go to heaven when you die. Alphie asks if Joshua will be there, to which he replies, “No, I’m not good enough to get there.” The idea of being “good enough” to get to heaven has been around for most of history. Most people I run into believe this same idea.

I always found it not only spiritually false but logically confusing that someone can believe that God will judge (based on good outweighing the bad) if someone will experience the joy of heaven or the pain of hell. What is the one sin that tips the scales to hell? What is the one good action that tips the scales to heaven? Most people believe, I guess, God seemingly gives no real guidelines on the most important question in existence—”Where you will spend eternity?”. It seems cruel to leave such an important question hanging in the balance with no real answer. Thankfully, God does give an answer in His Word which we can see in one verse:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” —Ephesian 2:8-9

Good works has nothing to go with going to heaven. Good works are actually just an outpouring of a changed heart that has been saved by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus” sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead. God gives it as a free gift and we know that you do not have to work to receive a gift (or else it’s not a gift anymore). We do not have to work to receive eternal life but only trust in what Jesus has done already and receive it by childlike faith.

Q & A

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

What is REPENTANCE and why is it very important? Answer

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?

What is ETERNAL DEATH?

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Is jesus Christ the answer to your questions?Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.

God’s Story Online homeDo you understand God’s Story? Take a short journey through the Bible, from Creation to eternity, summarizing of the Bible’s most important records, in chronological order.

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

What is a TRUE CHRISTIAN?

Do NOT click on this button

So does The Creator’s visuals outweigh the clunkiness of the script? Is it worth your time if you are into good sci-fi? I would say the story definitely could be better. Yet the actors do a good job here, and the visuals are gripping, so I think that outweighs the negatives of the screenwriting. With that said, you may want to see this on the big screen to get the full effect. Okay, I’ll concede it’s no “Avatar,” but that’s probably a good thing in my book. I’ll definitely be in line for the next Gareth Edwards’ film when it comes out.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Mild
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Occult: None
  • Wokeism: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…ludicrous propaganda for AI… If “The Creator” were any more slanted, any more in the tank for the coming AI onslaught, you would think it was produced, written and directed by AI. …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
…Made of old stereotypes and recycled parts… The emotional core of The Creator rests on the shoulders of a star who has just one gear: angry. The rest wants to be “Blade Runner,” but plays more like a cross between “Elysium” (with its floating futuristic fortress and specious political message) and “The Golden Child” (about an all-powerful Asian kiddo in desperate need of protecting). …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…moving and eye-popping thriller… dives into the hot-button topic of artificial intelligence but more importantly mankind's tendency toward war and how we treat those different than us. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…moved along via coincidence and convenience and makes no sense when held to any scrutiny… a bigger piece of anti-American pro-China propaganda has never been made… The Chinese (China being a bastion for human rights activism – just ask the Uighurs) are all portrayed as peaceful victims who want only to be left alone to live serene and harmonious lives. The evil Americans are all Adolf Hitler with no regard for non-American lives…
James Carrick, Worth It or Woke?
Was ‘The Creator’ written by AI? …There is the slightly conspiratorial sense that the team behind this trip down movie-memory lane simply fed the scripts of various canonized sci-fi epics into an AI program and waited to see what sort of composite it spit out. …
David Fear, Rolling Stone
…In every shot, the mix of gritty local colour and artful digital augmentations is riveting: you’re always vaguely aware that what you’re looking at can’t all be real, but the line which splits reality from fantasy is impossible to spot. …
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…there’s precious little in “The Creator” that feels fresh, particularly if you’ve seen one of the first two “Terminator” movies, watched “The Last of Us” …“The Creator” itself eventually tries one’s patience with its incessant demands that you feel for characters and relationships that it hasn’t taken the care to develop. …
Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times
…The more the film trumpets its thematic seriousness, the sillier it gets. …
Kyle Smith, The Wall Street Journal
…endlessly stunning visuals all in service of a heartfelt, sensitive story. Gareth Edwards is the real deal — this is fantastic, enveloping cinema. …
Alex Godfrey, Empire