Gareth Edwards’ latest blockbuster “The Creator” has had its second trailer released, and while it doesn’t give much more away about the plot (it just makes things slightly clearer) it showcases the huge, epic scale this film is aiming for.
Starting with a new scene, someone called Maya (Gemma Chan) speaks to Joshua (John David Washington) about the AI protecting her when the war started, only to receive a blunt response “They’re not people Maya. It’s just programming.” It’s a moment that shows the AI hatred Joshua has, questioning Maya’s allegiance.
This moment is echoed later in the trailer when Joshua is trying to protect the AI child from the military and has his allegiance to humanity questioned, clearly having grown. It succinctly shows the arc of Joshua in a quick moment, and the journey he will go on.
After the logos, audiences get a reminder that AI has nuked Los Angeles, something put into the teaser for the film. But this is accompanied by clearer footage of the devastating attack, which stuns. Seeing this in theatres will be a hard sequence to watch.
It’s after this apocalypse that Joshua receives his mission. Destroy the creator’s superweapon. It seems simple really. The kind of operation that Joshua would be used to doing, as the film’s synopsis reveals he’s an ex-special forces agent. But when Joshua finds out that this weapon is an AI kid, it’s not so easy anymore.
There are some repeated shots from the first trailer, the exchange about heaven and locating the weapon, and Joshua saying that he won’t go to heaven because he’s not a good person. Hopefully the film shows audiences some of these horrific acts, because it’s suggested they aren’t good and won’t make the fans root for him. Retrieving this AI child could be his redemption.
Another religious connection is the name of the film, “The Creator”. The synopsis reveals it refers to the creator of the AI and of this child superweapon, but otherwise audiences haven’t seen this mysterious being. In real life, the creator refers to God, so how that applies in the film is intriguing.
Audiences get a small glimpse of this AI kid’s power, as it disables the power to a section of road just by putting her hands together (similar to prayer), suggesting why it’s the threat to humanity that the kid is claimed to be. But otherwise the powers of this weapon are vague, but they will surely be answered.
At some point in the trailer, Joshua and Alfie look to be captured by the AI, and Alfie is even asked what it wants, and responds with a political manifesto. It wants all robots to be free, which rather puts it at odds with the militant human faction. This profound statement is followed by half a comedic beat, something that sounds like it should be played for laughs but isn’t.
This film looks like it will deliver a message to say robots and humans can live in harmony, rather than providing a simple satisfying “kill all robots” scenario that, especially considering the recent fears to do with AI, people might want. Especially after the powerful start.
And this more challenging answer to AI is the right approach, because AI in the real world is not going to go anywhere. While the film was made before the AI explosion of this year, it’s come out at a perfect time and might deliver a moral that suggests people should be less scared of robots.
There are some fast action shots to end the trailer, and they show the awesome cinematography on display. This is clearly a film made to be viewed on the biggest screen possible with cinematic sound.
“The Creator” has shown that it’s got some big ideas about it, religious ones and humanity’s relationship to AI, something everyone will have to reckon with and will make for interesting analysis. But it’s also got the visuals to entice people into the cinema to hear its philosophy, else it would be preaching to a small crowd.
“The Creator” releases in cinemas on September 29.