Review by Isaiah Johnson
If this year’s lineup of movies has made me feel anything, it’s that ‘the movies’ are back. It might be that this is the first year where I am willing and able to spend a large majority of my attention on current films, but the films of 2023 have all felt comfortably nostalgic while also interestingly fresh.
No other film I think better encapsulates this feeling than Gareth Edwards’ newest sci-fi adventure, The Creator. Being a massive fan of Gareth’s previous feature Rogue One, I’ve had high hopes for this since I first saw the trailer. The world felt tangible and exciting. The action felt tense and real. And the performances, while not the sole reason for my excitement, looked promising. The premise of ai threatening humanity felt both very contemporary and classic, reminiscent of other famous sci-fi flicks like James Cameron’s Terminator franchise.
The film itself is less than iconic. The story oversteps itself in many areas, misusing significant time jumps that gunk up the pacing tremendously, which is the biggest flaw of the movie. The script also does not do the movie any favors, leaving the actors struggling to make emotional moments out of clunky dialogue.
The highlights are the special effects and visuals, a real feat considering this film’s more midrange budget. The VFX never feel out of place or shoe-horned in, which allows for fantastic visual world building and storytelling. Seeing visuals like this made me realize outside of Star Wars and Avatar sequels, there hasn’t been modern sci-fi like this in years, which probably makes me like this movie more than it deserves.
The cast is a nice midpoint in quality between the beautiful look of the film and the awkward flow of it. Each actor, especially the newly introduced Madeleine Yuna Voyles, shine as much as they can, and elevate what could have been a true disaster.
Hopefully, we get more movies like this. Original sci-fi flicks with interesting worlds are sometimes what is really needed to bring audiences together. And if a somewhat fresh dud is what we get instead of another aimless chapter in the long dead MCU, that’s fine with me.