Edwards — who also directed one of, if not the, best Star Wars movie, Rogue One — was the director behind The Creator, a thought-provoking sci-fi gem released at the end of September about a world in which the existence of artificial intelligence has basically ripped apart humanity. AI, we’re told at the beginning of the movie, set off a nuclear bomb over Los Angeles, and Western nations have launched a grueling war in response. The nations of “New Asia” like Japan, however, want to continue co-existing with AI and believe the West is making a mistake.
Explains the official synopsis of the movie, which is now streaming on Hulu: “Amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua (John David Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Gemma Chan), 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.
“Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory, only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child.”
Edwards packed so many fascinating AI storylines into The Creator, from the way that technology might impact war and policing in the future to even something as pedestrian as how humans might eventually fall in love with and turn robots into companions. Augmented by a fantastic cast that includes Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, and Allison Janney, the battle scenes in The Creator are especially thrilling — from the laser guns to the suicide robots who are ordered by Janney’s US Army Colonel to attack the enemy.
Those robots look like oversized trash cans with arms and legs, and after they salute the colonel (“It’s been a pleasure serving you, ma’am”) they run at the enemy and blow themselves up.
A special word must also be said about Madeleine Yuna Voyles, the child actor who portrays the movie’s robotic “simulant” with the ability to remotely control essentially all technology when she folds her hands together as if she’s praying. The scenes between her and Washington’s Joshua are so good, like when she asks Joshua to explain the concept of heaven to her. It’s a place, he tells her, where good people go after they die, and “Alphie” understands right away that neither of them will ever see it. “Because you’re not good. And I’m not a person.”