Chappie the film not Chappie the dog food. Sadly Chappie isn’t named after the food. The robot is named such because Yolandi makes the comparison between him and a ‘Happy Chappie’. Yes. Slow clap from everyone.
This is a very interesting film. Like a lot of films of 2015 it deals with the idea of Artificial Intelligence and the ability for robots to become “More Human Than Human” and this film tackles it in the crime ridden future of Johannesburg. Where robot law enforcement, basically robocops, are used to enforce the law. Until one gets broken and instead of throwing him out Dev Patel decides to put his A.I. chip into him only to get kidnapped by a group of self proclaimed ‘gangstas’, who therefore raise Chappie in the hopes he’ll help commit crimes.
It’s these two ‘gangstas’ I had trouble with, Yolandi and Ninja. Who I didn’t realize till afterwards that they are actually playing themselves. Which seem like a weird form of self indulgence. I mean they are funny at times but not in the laugh with them kind of way. Their acting is a little so so at times as is pretty much everyone to be honest, with the exception of Hugh Jackman who is hilarious as the power crazy villain that does despite the attempts at a few new traits just end up as an evil rival employee. Dev Patel I didn’t find convincing as the scientist, just not really believing his sci-fi mumbo jumbo actually meant any thing, or anything he understood. Sharlto Copley is good at presenting Chappie’s child like naivety and the special effects are undeniably impressive and the robot designs are pretty cool. With the exception of Hugh Jackman’s robot, Moose. (Pictured below).
I clear comparison can b made between this and Blomkamp’s earlier film District 9. As they are practically the same film and film style. You could say that this film is District 9 and Robocop (2014) bastard love child. You’ve got the future of robotics in the form of Chappie and evil Hugh Jackman trying to push his ED-209 wannabee robot. I say 2014 Robocop as well because it lacks something. For a film about a robot become more human it lacks the brains needed to fulfill that.
Another comparison can be made between this and Edward Scissorhands strangely. They both even have a van with leopard print interior.
The reason I included the poster at the top is that it not only edits out Jackman’s awesome mullet but kind of presents it in this strange Transformers way. This is a good way to show the film because the film itself doesn’t really know what way to go. Much like District 9, towards the end the film starts getting all these ideas and branching off into other places that could happily be their own films. Causing me, with this film, to role my eyes several times.
It lacks the brains, it thinks it has. District 9 meets Edward Scissorhands meets RoboCop (2014) with Short Circuit 2 thrown in. Unoriginal, despite it’s best efforts.
Best Line of the Film
Hugh Jackman: “You’re making me madder than a frog in a sock mate.”