Chappie – Review
From Director Neill Blomkamp, whose previous works includes the provocative and imaginative science fiction films “District 9” and “Elysium,” we see his latest effort entitled “Chappie”. A story in the not so distant future where crime is now managed by a strong armed mechanized police force and the counter balance story of gang infestation running amuck throughout the city.
The films story begins in the troubled Soweto region of Johannesburg where we see finally the local police is getting its crime problem under control thanks to the performance of a genius designer named Deon’s and his robot police officers who are totally functioning walking and talking robots that can go in and do the dirty work no one else wants to do.
Of course (for story sake) all this peace and harmony must be destroyed by the human vices of temptation and greed; and such is the case when one of the police droids (who is eventually named Chappie) is stolen and given new some programming that allows him to become the first robot with the ability to think and feel entirely for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie and Deon’s ideas as a danger to mankind and order, those forces will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.
The Pros of the film: While rated R (for violence, language and brief nudity), there is plenty of action adventure to this film tale that I believe is always critical to any good science fiction effort. It also draws off of being very inventive and realistic looking with its plot point of “Chappie” evolving from being a totally working technically managed device by humans (like computers) to having his own consciousness infused into his software where he starts to learn initially like a child to eventually like an adult figuring out both complicated situations to eventually understanding the nuances of the human mind and soul.
The Cons of the film: Running almost 2 hours long, “Chappie” is an intellectual sink hole of a film as the dialog is almost laughable with it attempts to be serious. It also hampers some rather accomplished actors here i.e. Hugh Jackman – Sigourney Weaver, who seem to be almost fighting the instincts of either not laughing on screen or to the point of almost cringing on screen in having to say time after time some rather corny lines. I have seen better dramatic story screenplay development on the old “Dukes of Hazards” TV show.
Conclusion: With only a few moments that connected with me that were genuinely heartfelt and meaningful, overall Chappie is an abundant waste of your movie going time.
With the exception of some rather fascinating visuals, the film “Chappie” is “Crappy”.