After more than 7 years since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), director Gareth Edwards returns with an original science-fiction work titled The Creator. This story is set in the future around the end of the 21st century, when artificial intelligence (AI) technology has developed dramatically and gone beyond human control. One day, the machines rebelled and dropped an atomic bomb on Los Angeles as a declaration of war. The United States banned the use of AI and developed a technological weapon called NOMAD to wipe out these rebels.
Meanwhile, an engineer nicknamed Nirmata (The Creator) is determined to protect this virtual force by fleeing to Asia and planning to develop a weapon that can destroy NOMAD. From then on, this land was named New Asia when humans and machines lived together in harmony. At the same time, the US launched a war to completely destroy the seeds of AI.
The main character of the film is Joshua Taylor (played by John David Washington), an agent sent by the US government to Asia to find Nirmata’s whereabouts. Here, he approached and conquered the heart of Maya Fey (Gemma Chan) – who was suspected of being the daughter of the hiding engineer. However, Joshua himself also fell in love with the girl and was very happy to have a child together.
One day, NOMAD bombed Maya’s shelter, killing her while she was pregnant. Too sad, Joshua returned to America and asked for discharge. However, five years later, the US government came to him again when it learned that the New Asia faction had created a weapon that could turn the tide of battle, and discovered that Maya was still alive.
John David Washington as Special Agent Joshua Taylor.
Fascinating science-fiction film set in Asia
The main content of the film follows Joshua Taylor on his journey back to New Asia to find his wife who seemed to have passed away long ago. The decision to reappear takes him on a more or less good and bad adventure in Asia, which is now the headquarters of a powerful AI army. Also for that reason, the war in The Builder creates a feeling reminiscent of Hollywood movies about the Vietnam War in the past, only replacing humans with robots.
Asian setting in the movie The Creator.
Director Gareth Edwards said the idea of making a film arose after traveling to Thailand and Vietnam. Materials from Southeast Asia appear densely in the film. These are wet rice fields, stilt houses or dangerous mountain and forest settings. Besides, Vietnamese also appears quite a lot in the film. Ngo Thanh Van – playing a supporting role in the film – said she was the one who proactively asked the director to add more native language lines to this Hollywood blockbuster.
The Asian context becomes the key point that makes the difference of The Builder with Hollywood science-fiction blockbusters. The nature here becomes a canvas for director Gareth Edwards to paint very vivid, beautiful frames that are extremely suitable for the post-apocalyptic context of the script. The appearance of Asian stars such as Gemma Chan and Ngo Thanh Van also enriches the film’s ethnic diversity.
“The bad girl” Ngo Thanh Van appeared in a supporting role in the film.
The script is round, rich in meaning but still quite safe
One point helps The Builder Conquering the audience and critics is the film’s well-constructed story and a reasonable narrative. The film’s script is influenced by science fiction blockbusters such as The Terminator, The Matrix nice Blade Runner 2049. This direction helps the project have a fairly well-rounded, reasonably developed story but somehow creates a familiar, overlapping feeling.
On his journey to find his wife, Joshua is drawn into a new journey when he discovers that the weapon developed by the AI side is Alphie – a half-human, half-machine child who possesses the superpower of controlling technology through his mind. This episode is not strange to followers of this film genre. Because of that, observant audiences can easily guess the story early onThe Builder Where will it go and how will it develop?
However, director Gareth Edwards cleverly incorporated many philosophical details to elevate the script, helping the film’s story not to be shallow or stop at the level of simple action and entertainment. Overall, The Builder takes viewers to find answers to questions about the relationship between humans and technology. If machines also have thoughts and emotions, humanity also needs to treat them with respect and compassion, not simply as tools and servants. Is oppression and violence against machines considered inhumane actions?
Those messages are clearly expressed through the relationship between the male protagonist Joshua and the robot Alphie. “Will I go to heaven?”, the little robot girl asked, making the spy confused before he could think of an answer. Or the way he explained to Alphie when killing her fellow humans that it was just “shutdown”, not “death”. Those little details help somewhat The Builder becomes a science-fiction work that is not only rich in entertainment but also has depth, provoking the viewer’s thoughts. However, the integration of philosophical ideas also makes the dialogue in the film sometimes feel quite fake and cliché.
Impressive effects, well-rounded acting from the cast
Right after launch, The Builder received a shower of compliments from audiences and critics for the film’s visuals. After a series of projects that were criticized for being too careless in terms of techniques, Hollywood has now introduced another science-fiction project that is done so meticulously. Many international critics even commented that this is one of the films with the best visuals and effects from the beginning of the year until now, and is a strong candidate for technical categories for the upcoming Oscar season. .
The robots in the movie appear very realistic, have very reasonable expressions and movements. A small minus point here is that the crew is not really creative in the creation stage, not being able to introduce a single robot that leaves a bold mark in the hearts of the audience. One impressive thing is the crew The Builder It was able to do that with a budget of only about 80 million USD, which is very modest when compared to other blockbusters of the same genre.
The acting of the main cast is also a highlight The Builder. After Tenets, John David Washington shows that he is very suitable for the role of a spy whose life is always placed on the boundary between life and death. In this project, he must show the journey of changing his thinking from someone who only considers machines as tools until realizing that they are the ultimate precious things to him. Child actress Madeleine Yuna Voyle also had an impressive transformation when playing the robot baby Alphie. Thanks to his saintly face and innocent acting style, the character occupies the spotlight in scenes that push emotions to the climax of the film.
The Creator is one of Hollywood’s most watchable science-fiction projects in recent years. Choosing Asia as the main setting partly helps bring many new points to the film. Director Gareth Edwards successfully completed his task by delivering a blockbuster that is neat in image and well-rounded in content. Although not strong enough to rise to the level of a classic, the work is like a breath of fresh air in this genre that seems to have been exhausted by international filmmakers.