2023 has not been a good year for Hollywood and has had many people worrying about the film industry and where it could be heading. There are countless films that have been released this year with excessive budgets that lead to the film failing to net profit at the box office. The Creator is hugely talked about for several reasons, one of them being that it has a budget under $100 million. The question is, does The Creator prove you can make a visually good film without such a high budget?
The answer to that is yes. Gareth Edwards proves with The Creator, that you can have an $80 million budget, film on location and use a $4000 Sony FX3 to not only create a really good sci-fi film but the best visually looking film of the year. This is a film to watch on the biggest screen possible, an IMAX screen if you can, to fully take in the stunning visuals and see all the colours the best you can. Gareth Edwards has possibly set a new standard for what to expect from filmmaking and if this film performs well, Hollywood could change for the better.
The Creator 2023 Movie Review
The Creator is an original sci-fi story from Gareth Edwards that’s set in the year 2070, where after a nuclear bomb is set off in Los Angeles, it further sparks a war between humans and Artificial Intelligence. Joshua (John David Washington) an ex special forces agent is tasked with hunting and killing ‘The Creator’, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has created a weapon with the power to end the war or mankind itself.
The concept of Humans vs. Artificial Intelligence isn’t anything new when it comes to making sci-fi, it’s often the most used trope you can find across any sci-fi media. It’s a concept that we’re even starting to slowly fight in 2023, with SAG-AFTRA and WAG fighting against the use of AI. The world of The Creator is easily a world that could be our tomorrow if things keep going the way they are.
Upon hearing that the plot was going to revolve around this concept, I was sceptical, but Gareth Edwards achieved something special with this film by driving the world-building forward. There were moments in the film where certain things felt a bit generic but overall, the character-driven stories really helped move this story along. It’s with no doubt that John David Washington and newcomer Madeleine Yuna Voyles completely steal the show with their performances, certain moments within their relationship end up quite predictable but it’s always played off by how well they’re performing the scene that instantly makes you forget about how cliche the scene was.
John David Washington is able to bring his best performance yet in a film, seeing how his character grows from someone void of emotion and only after one thing, to a character that’s full of so much love and care. Gareth Edwards was also able to make sure that Madeleine Yuna Voyles’ character was able to grow alongside him at the same time, which made for very emotional moments and led to one of the saddest/happiest ending of the year, depending on how you take it.
There are several scenes in this film that are clearly heavily inspired by other films and even Gareth Edwards’ films such as ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ and unfortunately some of the scenes are downplayed due to it being similar events from these films playing out but, Gareth Edwards also uses his previous film as a strength at the same time to improve on things he failed with on his previous films.
John David Washington and Madeleine Yuna Voyles aren’t the only two outstanding cast members of this film. The Creator has a magnificent supporting cast alongside it with faces like Gemma Chan who plays Maya, and though her screen time is low, every time she’s on screen, she easily becomes the star of the show. Ken Watanabe also stars in the film as Harun, bringing a magnificent performance forward and bringing so much emotion towards the character, who has you feeling conflicted about his actions and how justifiable those actions are.
The Creator is a massive step in the right direction for the future of blockbusters in Hollywood. Gareth Edwards proves that you can still make an original, visually stunning film without having an excessively large budget. With a stellar cast, beautiful visuals, a thrilling story and amazing music from Hans Zimmer, The Creator makes for one of the best sci-fi films of this decade.
Rating: 4 out of 5
This review was written during the 2023 WGA (now resolved) and SAG-AFTRA (ongoing) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series/movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.