The balance between the Star Wars side of things and the war drama side is exemplified by the location shooting. Much of the film was shot among the verdant mountains, fields and towering, dagger-like islands of Thailand, which means that it’s spectacular, but also that the combat seems to be happening in real places, with plenty of troubling imagery that recalls the Vietnam War via Apocalypse Now. The futuristic CGI is incorporated so seamlessly that the spell is never broken. Even when robots, simulants and armoured hovercraft are on screen, you can’t see the joins between the physical and the digital.
Still, it would have been close to impossible for Edwards to get the balance between tones exactly right. The escapades in the rushed last act are harder to believe than those earlier on, and the initial ethical questions are soon forgotten. Some of the technology in the film’s 2070 seems less advanced and less frightening than the technology that is being used today, too. One jarring plot point is that everyone is amazed that a child-like simulant has been manufactured, whereas the boffins in M3GAN cracked that problem a year ago.
But there is no denying that The Creator is a major new sci-fi adventure. If you’re partial to such things, Edwards’ ambitious, immersive film should prompt the intoxicating awe that you might have got from The Matrix and Avatar – the feeling that you’re seeing a rich vision of the future unlike any that has been on the big screen before.
The Creator is released in the UK on 28 September and the US on 29 September.
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