The Creator (2023)
October 4, 2023 1:20 PM - Subscribe

Against the backdrop of a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence, a former soldier finds a secret weapon.
posted by TheophileEscargot (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wanted to like this more. Some fantastic visuals, especially the giant futuristic tank. But it seemed a bit over-serious for a fairly clichéd and somewhat silly concept: how many times have we seen naive but powerful child-robots mistreated by humanity? I liked it for the first two thirds but it was a bit eye-rollingly sentimental near the end.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:24 PM on October 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

It was interesting watching this just before the finale of Ahsoka. If nothing else, The Creator's visuals are undeniably impressive, far beyond practically any other epic sci-fi media I've seen other than Avatar 2. Gareth Edwards squeezed every penny out of his $80m budget and it shows. But good visuals aren't the same as good art direction; there were some nice moments like the more casual robot scenes, but too little of the movie rose above your usual Elysium/District 9/Blade Runner garbage-core sci-fi tropes.

The story, of course, was dreadful in so many ways. Sure, it's science fantasy, not science fiction, but it makes absolutely no sense. How is the Nomad floating above us in practically every scene? If the US hates AI so much, why bother looking for these hiding-in-plain-sight AI bases and just skip to genociding every robot in sight? New Asia clearly has a police force and fighter jets and advanced cities and manufacturing, but can't seem to mount any decent response to US incursions, let alone bothering to shoot at Nomad? The LA nuke was just a "coding error", but the AI side didn't even try making that case to the US? It's laughably bad.

The whole movie left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I could not enjoy seeing countless towns and cities being nuked by the US. I don't think it had anything to say at all.
posted by adrianhon at 2:34 PM on October 4, 2023 [5 favorites]

I was confused by USS Nomad. At first I thought it was a helicarrier which makes sense as it has gravity aboard. But some of the reviews seem to think it was in orbit, and it doesn't seem to have anything visible keeping it up. So maybe it's supposed to be a mobile orbiting platform, but written by people who don't understand how orbits or gravity work.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:38 PM on October 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

The trailer looks great and I loved director Gareth Edwards' 2010 Monsters, plus his Rogue One was the best Star Wars movie in almost 20 years.

Nonetheless, I'm waiting for streaming.

(Pre-pandemic I used to watch an average of 80 movies a year in theatre, but sadly the spell has been broken.)
posted by fairmettle at 6:04 AM on October 5, 2023 [2 favorites]

Somewhere in the second act, I realized I was watching a live action anime written by white Americans... all vibes and absolutely no substance here.

It's a shame; I was excited for the movie because I loved Rogue One. Looking back at the production history of that movie, it sounds like it was a mess until Tony Gilroy was brought in for rewrites - he also went on to run Andor...

So my guess is that this would have been an awesome movie if they had bothered to get a decent script.

I did like the barrel-bomb robot, though.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:58 PM on October 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Visually stunning, and amazing that they managed on a budget of 80 million. But man, tons of refrigerator logic. The NOMAD thing bugged me too… it’s clearly not orbiting, but the O is for orbital. Whatever.

My favorite detail was the lowercase “us army” on the tank things. Someone did a branding overhaul to make it friendlier.

Also liked Alison Janney’s death, which was one of the few bits of humor in an otherwise pretty dour movie.
posted by condour75 at 6:47 PM on October 14, 2023 [1 favorite]

Loved Alphie!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:53 AM on October 15, 2023

Rare that I actually bail on a movie halfway through. The screenplay was just crap.

a live action anime written by white Americans

Asia is so peaceful and hi tech, why won't these brutal Americans just leave us alone?!? But that was the least of the problems, at almost every twist and turn I was throwing up my hands and thinking "that is such bullshit".

Huge waste of some very cool design / worlbuilding / etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:30 AM on November 30, 2023 [4 favorites]

Out on streaming now, and it's worth watching just for villain Alison Janney.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 5:23 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

After watching this for 90 minutes I realized that there were 40 more minutes still to go and just turned it off.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:50 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

Visually stunning, and amazing that they managed on a budget of 80 million. But man, tons of refrigerator logic.

Hell, I didn't even make it as far as the fridge. It seemed clear that there was a visual design that someone wanted to make look really cool, and zero plan for what those designs would actually mean in worldbuilding. "Some robots could look like people, but with giant rotating holes in their heads for... reasons!" It seems like when you've got AI bot folks with weird fascination for looking like actual specific human beans, maybe you'd want to finish the head build by putting on the entire back of your neck and sticking a cork in the hole. Especially if a world power is trying to do a genocide on you. And is it ever explained WHY the bots have such a fixation on being specific human people, as opposed to just being sentient synthetic entities of their own design? I get that it looks cool to have an elderly Vietnamese farmer reveal a wild robot skull thing... but why is that robot farming? They don't eat... if it's farming for other people, why not be a morphologically superior farming bot instead of being shaped like an elderly human? And the military having a brain cloning device, the only point of which is to give the protagonist a chance to be hugged by his dead wife while the magical not-orbiting space platform explodes? Except wouldn't her memories of him be of the horrific betrayal he did to her and everyone she loved? And the robo-baby messiah has the power to turn off or control any machine, and theoretically will have global reach when it 'grows up' (why is it doing this all in a human timeframe?)... yeah that's actually a catastrophically dangerous power/weapon to have going around, and as shitty as the americans are (literally threatening to shoot puppies to show they are eeeeeevil) it would make total sense for every global power to want this child destroyed. Honestly I would think it was a good idea to destroy this thing too. gah this movie was such dogshit it kinda makes me mad
posted by FatherDagon at 10:40 AM on February 7

This is one of the stupidest smart movies I’ve ever seen. The whole background is amazing visually, and yet falls apart with any thought. The plot line is nothing, just jumbled bits thrown together. It’s so close to being worth watching and yet fails at the last few hurdles.
posted by The River Ivel at 4:37 AM on March 2

Director Gareth Edwards was on the Corridor Crew VFX YouTube recently, and talked about how they did the effects. Basically they did a lot of location filming, and sent the footage back to ILM to be "robotized". He says that was a good way to get a lot of texture in there.

So you have a robot hand stirring a bowl of grains: nobody would normally approve that effects shot because it costs money and doesn't do much, but it adds a lot to the texture and feeling of the movie.

But while the world looks fantastic, the plot seems like an afterthought.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:43 AM on March 2

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