AI Child Holds Key to Survival in Thrilling Sci-Fi, The Creator

By Emma Nguyen September 28, 2023

The future hangs in the balance, with a machine-child bridging the gap between emotional humanity and war-focused artificial intelligence in Gareth Edwards' stirring drama, "The Creator".

"The Creator", Gareth Edwards' directorial and co-writing endeavor presents a gripping vision of a war-torn, futuristic world, where the battle is between the humans and AI. Despite its grand ideas and dazzling spectacle, the film seems to struggle to seamlessly intertwine intellectual and emotional elements.

Striving to make AI more appealing, the film brings it to life as an endearing child named Alfie, played by Madeleine Yuna Voyles, a fresh face in Hollywood. The narrative unfolds about half a century in the future, and walks an exploratory path similar to "Blade Runner", addressing profound inquiries about what can render a machine fundamentally human. Alfie, the AI child, happens to be the war's potential solution and, unwittingly, carries this heavy burden.

Roped into this dangerous milieu is Joshua (John David Washington), a former special-forces agent who'd lost his wife, Gemma Chan, in the war and who now finds himself shielding Alfie. The movie narrates the tale of this war originated from a catastrophic event in Los Angeles, which led to the West banning AI while New Asia continues to support it, sparking a conflict.

Edwards, with his prior experience directing "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and script shared with Chris Weitz, manages to bring a remarkable visual scale to the action scenes, and constructs a futuristic world where AI characters have singular identifiers. However, the major plot lies within Joshua's journey to overcome his grief and guard Alfie, all the while navigating various obstacles as they move towards Alfie's destined role.

Yet, the movie's complexity occasionally escaped understanding, particularly at the beginning. At its crux, the film requires the audience to believe in the developing bond between man and AI, a task which may prove difficult and may not entirely pay off, despite the exquisite performance of its young actress.

Edwards deserves commendation for trying to tell a tale with complex characters swathed within an extensive sci-fi narrative that does not seem aimed at spawning sequels or related merchandise. "The Creator", in this respect, comes across as smart, whether artificial or otherwise. However, it doesn't quite succeed in bringing to life the vision originally intended.

"The Creator" debuts theatrically in the US on September 29 and is rated PG-13.