Seven years after delivering the best Star Wars reboot, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards returns with another epic sci-fi that demands to be watched on the big screen.
This ambitious film about a war between robots and humans includes astonishing visions of robot suicide bombers sprinting across enemy lines and US tanks the size of shopping centres mowing through villages.
Sadly, the British film-maker doesn’t tie these futuristic visions into a compelling drama.
A zippy prologue relates how Americans finally went off AI in the year 2055 after it was blamed for a nuclear accident in LA. Algorithms were shut down and robot workers were rounded up and sent to the crusher.
But a rebellious country called New Asia ignored the Western boycott, building smarter andr oids with friendly human faces copied from willing donors.
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So the Americans, fearing another disaster on the scale of 9/11, launched what is essentially a second Vietnam war to destroy AI.
Former spy Joshua (John David Washington) retired from the US military after seeing his pregnant rebel wife Maya (Gemma Chan) vaporised in a raid on their New Asia home.
Or did he? In 2070, he’s called back into action by reports that Maya is still alive and working with android comrades. A scarred US colonel (Allison Janney) thinks Maya is also connected to a human architect of AI known as Nimata. She wants Joshua to join a mission to destroy Nimata’s new device which will transform the way war is waged.
But Joshua is hit by the disarming discovery that Nimata’s device is a cute robot kid called Alphie (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) who can turn off any tech – including America’s new superweapon – with her AI brain. Sensing the robots may be the good guys, Josh goes on the run with the walking remote control.
My eyes popped during the action scenes but my cheeks remained bone dry during the supposedly heart-wrenching finale.
Thin characters and one-note performances suggest Edwards is a lot better with pixels than people.
The Creator, Cert 12A, In cinemas now
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