THE CREATOR Review – New and Advanced World, Old Primal Emotions

'The Creator' is not only one of the best films of the year, but a beacon of hope for the future of filmmaking
The Creator

In the franchise, reboot, sequel, cinematic universe-heavy landscape of cinema, there emerges a film every so often that captures both the vastness of the world and the depths of human emotion, without a vested IP attached. The Creator, directed by Gareth Edwards, is a beacon among these select wonders. Edwards, with his expansive journey covering 10,000 miles across 80 unique locations in eight countries, taps into the soul of each destination. From the bustling lanes of Nepal to the tranquil terrains of Japan, every setting is not merely a backdrop but a character in its own right, enhancing the film’s already powerful narrative.

A Beautiful Combination of the Natural World and Technology

The Creator
A scene still from 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

From the very onset, the world of The Creator is a majestic spectacle. The direct capturing of all these magnificent locations offers viewers an unprecedented visual journey. Moreover, the sheer authenticity achieved by integrating local talent, both in the cast and crew infuses a genuine touch to the narrative, anchoring it in reality.

RELATED: THE CREATOR Director Shares Brilliant Practical Reason to Shoot in 8 Different Countries

But what truly sets The Creator apart is the breathtaking cinematography. Directors of photography, Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer, work in harmony to present a visual marvel. Their understanding of Edwards’ vision, combined with the revolutionary lightweight camera system developed specifically for this movie, allows for both grand vistas and intimate close-ups, painting a story of contrasts. Fraser’s diversified background, having worked on projects like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Batman, reflects in the film’s aesthetic diversity, making every frame a work of art.

Alongside its cinematography, the film’s editing and top-tier visual effects play a monumental role in transporting audiences to Edwards’ grand universe. The ‘reverse engineering’ approach, wherein the production design was incorporated post-shooting, gives the film an organic and naturalistic quality. The unmatched prowess of visual effects companies like ILM, Weta Workshops, and many others have brought to life Edwards’ earthbound yet otherworldly vision. The seamless blend of these elements is so enthralling that it’s easy to forget the groundbreaking technologies at play, such as StageCraft LED screen production technology, which Edwards previously experimented with in films.

Advanced World, Primal Emotions

The Creator
Madeline Voyles as Alphie in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Yet, amidst the brilliance of the advanced world, what stands out the most in The Creator is its primal emotional story. John David Washington and the prodigious Madeline Yuna Voyeles, who plays the film’s young lead, deliver heartfelt performances that leave an indelible mark. Washington, with his seasoned acting skills, showcases a range of emotions, from despair to hope, while Voyeles, despite her young age, displays an emotional depth that can bring tears to one’s eyes. The chemistry between the duo is palpable, rendering their shared moments with an intensity that is both gripping and tender.

RELATED: THE CREATOR Director Shares The Revolutionary Power of Sci-Fi in Questioning Reality

Further elevating the narrative are the stellar performances from Ken Watanabe, Allison Janney, and Gemma Chan. Each of them brings a unique flavor to the story, with Watanabe’s commanding presence, Janney’s nuanced and intimidating performance, and Chan’s loving but also commanding portrayal. Their roles, albeit supporting, add layers of complexity to the story, making it richer and more profound.

Last but not least is The Creator’s elegantly subtle, but truly undeniable score. Composer Hans Zimmer, known for his soul-stirring scores, once again weaves magic with his music in The Creator. The score, in tandem with the visual splendor, creates an immersive experience that resonates deep within, ensuring that the film’s essence lingers long after the end credits roll.

Time Flies

The Creator
Ken Watanabe as Harun in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

For all its magnificence, The Creator isn’t without its blemishes. While the film’s runtime of 133 minutes rushes by in what feels like a delightful whirlwind, there are moments where the emotional connections seem slightly rushed and abrupt. Some leaps in relationships and the narrative could have benefited from a touch more development or exposition. While the beginnings and ends do work with key relationships, the feeling of a few things not quite adding up or some steps being missed.

RELATED: THE CREATOR Director Wanted to Make Sure the Vehicles Were Bandai Worthy

More Science and Somehow More Human

Madeline Voyles as Alphie in 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Creator is a testament to Gareth Edwards’ visionary brilliance. It’s a film that beautifully juxtaposes an advanced, intricate world with raw, unfiltered emotion. Any missteps pale in comparison to its grandeur. In an era where original large-scale sci-fi, or just original, is rare, The Creator stands tall, not just as a cinematic masterpiece but as a beacon of hope for the future of filmmaking.

For not just being unique, but for being a revolution in filmmaking, and truly exemplifying storytelling, I give The Creator a 9/10.

The Creator releases in theaters on September 29, 2023.

About The Creator

The Creator poster

Release Date: September 29, 2023
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cinematography: Greig Fraser and Oren Soffer
Producers: Kiri Hart, Arnon Milchan, and Jim Spencer
Screenplay: Gareth Edwards and Chris Weitz
Executive producers: Zev Foreman, Natalie Lehmann, Nick Meyer, and Yariv Milchan
Cast: John David Washington, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Allison Janey, Amar Chadha-Patel, Ralph Ineson, and Sturgill Simpson

Amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua, a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife, is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself.

What are you most excited to see in The Creator? Which location from the film’s diverse set do you think will captivate you the most? Are you more logic or emotions? Let us know your thoughts and share your reactions to the film with us on social media!

KEEP READING: THE CREATOR’s Gareth Edwards Shares Profound Impact Spielberg’s E.T. Has On Him


Picture of Kevin Fenix

Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.