Alright, Neill Blomkamp, let’s do it.
You blew us away with District 9. Elysium had some mixed reviews, but clearly wasn’t as good as your first movie.
And now we have Chappie. Some part Short Circuit, some part robot apocalypse AI shit. But we are bound to get some Sharlto Copley. You guys are BFFs.
But listen here Neill. Should you let me down, we are done. Forget my number, give me back my spare key, and we will negotiate over Fido later.
“You wot, Robo-mate? I’ll cap ur fookin’ head in I swear on me maker!”
Chappie is set in the ridiculously far future of 2016. And it is set in South Africa again, because why not. Director likes it there.
Somehow, South Africa is the leading front on robotics now. They have a huge weapons company, and they have developed a police robot! Yay! Now humans don’t have to worry about getting hurt as a police officer. Instead, indestructible robots, unhackable, perfect, are running the streets with a few cops. Crime is down, life is good, but the criminals that exist seem to be hyper crazy criminals. I guess.
Their creator, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) seems to still be pretty poor and not even an executive in his company. He has developed an AI software to represent “consciousness” and give a robot the ability to learn and become even greater than a normal robot! It will make him real! Company head (Sigourney Weaver) doesn’t care, so he takes a broken robot about to get scrapped (has an unchargable battery) to do his own secret testing, damn it!
Then he gets kidnapped, van and all, after leaving the facility. Huh, so much for lesser crime rate. He is captured by some people named Ninja (Ninja), Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser), and Yankie/Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo). These guys owe 20 million to some criminal lord, Hippo (Brandon Auret), and it is all their fault. They wanted to take Deon’s money, but he is broke. So instead they want to get a robot to do some crimes.
Well, thanks to gun violence and his own desires, he activates the robot with his program, and Chappie (Sharlto Copley) is born! Anyways. Shenanigans, theft, guns, violence, and a jealous coworker (Hugh Jackman) who wanted to really create the ED-209’s from RoboCop.
What is this? A scene from Far Cry: Robo?
Damn it Neill. What did I tell you. What did I tell you like, 2 hours and 15 minutes ago? I said don’t let me down, Neill. I said I trusted you, Neill. I thought you were supposed to be the chosen one, Neill.
I should start with the good, before I start ranting accidentally. Chappie was delightful. The robot, not the movie. He was a beauty to watch, the CGI was really top notch and it fit so well in the real world. His voice got on my nerves early on, but it got better. Of course most of the jokes and great scenes involved him just learning and being a “kid” robot, ever trusting.
And that’s all I got.
Every single human in this movie is poorly written. Weaver is barely in the movie. Jackman is some polo wearing dude who tucks it into shorts, running around with a gun in an office, that no one gives a single fuck about for some reason. He is a bad villain annoyance with no great motivation, outside of maybe some psychopathic tendencies.
Deon is our smart character, so he is the most infuriating person everytime he does something stupid. Like, you know, not doing something about getting his robot back or stolen property or anything when it would be the easiest thing in the world. So many bad things happen, almost all of them his fault and he doesn’t seem to get it. None of this is addressed in the movie either, he is just very badly written as a plot device.
The trio of thugs? Well, first of all, they are violent criminals, rough enough to still be doing crime despite the robots. Ninja, a character played by a guy actually named Ninja, is insufferable on purpose, so I don’t have any sympathy despite any changes of heart he might have later. The other two are more sympathetic, but at the same time, still dicks.
The ending is super rushed, and kind of awkward. The big robots end up being a piece of shit, that just stall out some of the final action scenes.
And as a side note, the Hippo dude? Subtitles the entire film, outside of like three lines. And of all his lines, maybe 2 are in not-English, so I don’t get it.
And also the sound editing early on in the film was shit. And also again, I am really fucking disappointed this film wasn’t a masterpiece.
1 out of 4.