Enter the world of Chappie. Neill Blomkamp’s latest venture into the feature film game and it couldn’t come at a more pressing time with the news of him helming the next Alien film.
Chappie is a robot who has gained a consciousness and has to learn life much like a newborn child. I personally really liked this film. It is a mash up of Short Circuit and the original Robocop, both fantastic films. I liked that it featured the South African group Die Antwoord, they had great screen presence and had good dynamics with the title character. Hugh Jackman’s appearance as mullet wearing villain wasn’t unwelcomed and Dev Patel’s geeky scientist was nice but a bit in the background. With the scientist, Chappie was his creation but it’s Die Antwoord that really had the influence on him. At times, Patel would appear to give Chappie some life advice then run away in fear for most of the film.
The film does struggle to find it’s audience as it has the adorable “better at being human” robot who then suddenly becomes a bad-ass and starts carjacking. It’s too much for children but not enough for adults.
However, my biggest problem with Chappie was the final moments. These are big spoilers so don’t read on if you haven’t seen it. Towards the end, Patel’s character get’s mortally wounded and Chappie is also “dying” due to his battery running out. Chappie found a way to “upload” his consciousness to a computer. He then does this with Patel’s character and transfers it to another robot who then becomes Patel. This doesn’t work. Especially not the way it’s portrayed. It was very lazy, not something I fully believed in. The film was doing very well before the ending. A lot of things in this film happen with great ease, there isn’t anything challenging which again goes to the film not knowing what it wants to be. Everything’s confused, themes are mashing up against each other and it changes tone left right and center.
All in all, great film, just confused in parts.