Starring John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, and Gemma Chan
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Running time: 133 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violent havoc
The year is 2065. People have developed a variety of advanced robots and humanlike “simulants” run by artificial intelligence (AI). These “AIs” (whose processors, unlike today’s “AI” algorithms, are modeled on the human brain) can do everything from drive buses to police neighborhoods to perform surgery. Then disaster strikes: AIs detonate a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles, killing a million people and injuring countless others. The West institutes a ban on simulants and certain robots, and the United States goes to war with “New Asia” with the intent to destroy all advanced AIs and those who continue to develop them, especially the legendary AI inventor Nirmata (a Nepalese word meaning “creator”).
This is the setup for the recent sci-fi thriller The Creator. The film’s opening briefly shows the incredible potential of AI—celebrating the ways it could enhance human life—before depicting the common fear that it will somehow turn against us. The dark tone this sets persists for the rest of the film, which also fails to deal with the ethical issues its premise raises or even to deliver a compelling story. . . .
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1. “Agent Orange,” History.com, May 16, 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/agent-orange-1.
2. Peter Debruge, “The Creator Review: Gareth Edwards’ Robot Uprising Is Made of Old Stereotypes and Recycled Parts,” Variety, September 26, 2023, https://variety.com/2023/film/reviews/the-creator-review-1235729849/.
3. The sci-fi elements were done by Industrial Light and Magic, which was set up to create effects for Star Wars; “About Industrial Light and Magic,” https://www.ilm.com/about/ (accessed Oct 10, 2023).
4. Associated Press, “‘PAW Patrol’ Shows Bark at Box Office while ‘The Creator’ Disappoints,” Seattle Times, October 1, 2023, https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/paw-patrol-shows-bark-at-box-office-while-the-creator-and-dumb-money-disappoint/.
5. Germain Lussier, “How The Creator Became Gareth Edwards’ Love Letter to Sci-Fi Movies,” Gizmodo, September 25, 2023, https://gizmodo.com/gareth-edwards-the-creator-rogue-one-secrecy-disney-fox-1850861168.