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The Creator Movie Review

Alphie sleeps on Joshua's shoulder.
Alphie sleeps on Joshua's shoulder.

Source: 20th Century Studios

Overall: 7.3/10

Story 7.0/10

A spy behind enemy lines gets in much deeper than he ever intended with his target in the war between humans and robots. He thinks he has it all figured out when a raid goes wrong, and he loses everything. His only chance to get it back is to go back and recover something for the human side. What he discovers is his humanity.

The film poses many interesting philosophical questions. How do we define life? What does it mean to be alive? Are there other ways to create life? Does sentience have anything to do with it? And how does the way that a species values life weigh in the valuation of its own?

The writers frame these questions against a backdrop of human disrespect for life in all its forms—even as it acts in fear to prevent its own demise. It appears that in that universe animals also have the ability to make weighty decisions about getting involved. Humans seem to have less humanity than any other group in the film. Their desperation and blindness play out through several different characters.

Maya points a gun.
Maya pulls her pistol.

Source: 20th Century Studios

Character 7.5/10

Joshua (John David Washington), the main character, is easily the most dynamic and exhibits the most growth. Initially, he has well-defined parameters of what he considers life to be. But along the way, he experiences some things that challenge his worldview and completely turn it on his head.

Alphie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) possesses the innocence of a child. But even with that innocence, she has a clear objective: robot freedom. As a combination of both worlds, Alphie is a representative of what the world could and should be. She is the hope of the future.

Maya (Gemma Chan) sees the AIs for what they truly are. They are not mere automatons to her. They are family. She sees artificial life as the equivalent of biological or natural life. She believes that in the future they can live side by side and should.

Harun (Ken Watanabe) has a paradox. He stands on principle. And despite his respect for all living things—all forms of life, he is willing to take up arms to protect the hope of the future by any means necessary.

Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) is angry. She wants revenge for what she’s lost in the conflict. She hates the robots and wants to destroy them all. Anyone who doesn't agree is an enemy. She doesn’t stop to think critically about what’s going on. “Do or die,” as they say.

General Andrews (Ralph Ineson) comes off as a typical meathead, who sees himself as a hammer and all the world’s problems as nails.

Animals get an honorable mention in this film. From time to time the audience sees them act. They cast their lots on the side that would give them the most favorable outcome. It doesn't take much imagination to see which side they would choose.

A robot stands on a boat, holds his gun and looks out over the water.
A robot patrols on a gunboat.

Source: 20th Century Studios

Final Thoughts

The Creator puts a refreshing spin on some old questions and introduces a few more. It's a good first foray into that world. This viewer would love to see a second installment.

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