Cert: 15 Runtime: 120 mins Director: Neill Blomkamp Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo-Landi Vasser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver
People are always fearful of something they don’t understand.
Neill Blomkamp kicked off a stellar feature film career with District 9, then we the world came across Elysium which was acceptable. Could Chappie be a return to form for Blomkamp? This will be his last feature before his untitled Alien project is released in 2017. Chappie seems to be the best of a bad bunch in the dry land that is February/March in the cinematic world. What is Chappie then? In the not-too-distant future, crime is monitored and controlled through a robotic police force. One of these robots is then stolen and reprogrammed to think for itself by young scientist Deon (Dev Patel). Named ‘Chappie’, the robot (Sharlto Copley) soon demonstrates extraordinary levels of sentient intelligence that suggest he could be the next link in the evolutionary chain. However, Chappie exists in a world where artificial intelligence is widely feared, and when ruthless scientist Vincent (Hugh Jackman) becomes aware of his existence, he must go on the run.
Chappie is a good example of a film that missed some opportunities. However, it was not bad, to mixed bag review incoming.The story has been done before and it was rather drab but it was very sweet. Having the robot learn for itself like a child and deal with the pretty awful world was different than like I, Robot or Automata. However, Chappie spends a large portion of the film with Ninja and Yolandi, who are criminals. Although Yolandi provides a very mothering character to Chappie, Ninja is just an awful person and spends a good part of the film trying to corrupt and lower the bar for Chappie. This means that instead of being good and having to be less good to make the world better, Chappie goes from not good to just mire good, making the whole morality thing a waste. By the way, the actors real names are Ninja and Yo-Landi. She was fine but Ninja damm what an awful actor. I understand they are musicians but I do hope I never see him in anything ever again.
The pacing at the beginning was acceptable it took it’s time to build up but mid way it was good. The ending was just meh and very predictable. The whole consciousness crap felt like Lucy (2014). The acting was mdeiocre. Dev Patel gave an acting 101 class for amateurs. Kicking a table doesn’t portray anger my friend. Hugh Jackman was on ok villain, it would of been nice to see his intention to why he was a dick. Sigourney Weaver was like the plastic bag in American Beauty meaningless! Most importantly though, was Shartlto Copley as Chappie was a great job! Chappie was a naive, strong and a hilarious character. His development is great slightly rapid but it was humbling.The effects were pretty great it felt like a Blomkamp and the Chappie design was pretty cool. The Moose robot was a bit of a con, it looks like a million other giant gun slinging robots. So to kinda sum up, Chappie had cool and emotional scenes, but it also had some really wasted opportunities where cliché would have been much better. The film lacked focus, but I still kind of liked it.