The Creator- Fantastic Fest Review

September 28, 202370/1005 min
Gemma Chan, John David Washington, Ralph Ineson, Allison Janney
Written by
Gareth Edwards ( screenplay by/ story by) and Chris Weitz ( screenplay by)
Directed by
Gareth Edwards
Run Time
2h 13min
Release Date
September 29th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

It seems like there is big hole in the cinematic landscape as of late. The majority of the highest grossing films so far this year are nothing but IP’s, sequels, and remakes. I’m not saying original stories aren’t being written, but I’m referring to those that make it to local movie theaters. “Safe” seems to be the word of the moment, with many studio releases playing it safe instead of offering something truly innovative. Enter Gareth Edwards, who along with Chris Weitz, has delivered a Sci-Fi epic that feels like a risk—one that, after you’ve seen it, you can only hope pays off in the best ways possible.

On a beach somewhere in Asia, Joshua (John David Washington) and Maya (Gemma Chan) lie in bed, contemplating their future and that of their unborn child. Their future takes a dark turn through a reign of gunfire and explosions, leaving Joshua as the sole survivor. Several years later, the war between humans in the West, who seek to rid the world of A.I. due to a nuclear incident in L.A., and the East, who want to coexist with A.I., has escalated. The West has held the upper hand for years thanks to a weapon, but the East has developed something that could tip the balance in their favor. Now the West needs Joshua’s help to find it, but his motivation goes beyond geopolitics—he hopes to reconnect with Maya, believing she may still be alive.

What unfolds is an epic sci-fi tale, one with stunning visuals that seamlessly blends the future and the near-present. Another noteworthy aspect of The Creator is that it was filmed in real locations and later enriched with futuristic sets. This approach adds a sense of authenticity to the movie, making the world it presents feel real rather than a digital creation. The script and plot have some imperfections, including the oft-used trope of “searching for the chosen child” as its main engine. Nevertheless, The Creator maintains a firm grip on your attention, and its final thirty minutes will also seize your emotions.

While The Creator has its flaws, its originality and stunning visuals more than compensate. The unique world it immerses you in not only offers a feast for the eyes but also stimulates your thoughts, addressing themes of extinction threats and technological advances frequently seen in current headlines. Perhaps the most significant reaction you’ll have is being impressed—impressed by what you’re witnessing and knowing that such originality is still possible in the world of intellectual property. When it’s all said and done, The Creator won’t just linger in your mind; it will penetrate your soul. No matter how impressed your eyes are, your heart will be the most affected.

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