When I first heard about the movie about a robot named Chappie, I thought from its name alone that there is no way this movie would be any good. But I had no idea just how bad it would be!
But I’m getting ahead of myself – so let’s start from the very beginning.
The movie is set in the near future where human policemen have been replaced by robot placemen as a way to eliminate crime from the streets. When one robot is stolen and given the ability to think for itself – Chappie is born.
The problem is Chappie stolen by wannabe-ghetto-gangster rejects from the hood. I, not being American, can only guess that this is what they’re apparently meant to be? So, as you may have guessed, Chappie is raised to speak poor English, hold a gun, wear heavy gold chains and walk all “gangsta” If Chappie wasn’t raised in this environment, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
The standout for me is Yo-landi Visser as wannabe-ghetto-gangster reject Yolandi or “Mumma” as Chappie calls her. She’s an important character in the ark of the story, though she doesn’t appear on screen as much as her male counterparts. This feels like a missed opportunity as she is high underutilized as a character.
Now let’s talk about Hugh Jackman. Before I get into the flaws of his character, why Hugh agreed to do this movie after starring in the similar-flop Real Steel I will never know. Hugh starts off as the office bully, feeling like he never gets the credit he’s deserved yet highly passionate about his work, before turning into a full on psycho by the end of the movie.
But what’s his motivation? Is Chappie his mortal enemy? Is Deon? I can only imagine that it’s jealously that turns him truly psychotic at the end. The end fight reminded me of Ratchet and Clank when those flying fuckers would come out of nowhere and shoot you dead!
In a movie about a robot that acts like a human, the thing I thought was most ridiculous was Hugh’s character. And that’s saying something! Also, way to embrace the Australian stereotype Hugh! Us Aussies fight so hard to prove that we aren’t what American’s think we are and then he goes ahead and reads the “Australian slang” that we don’t actually use.
I read that Hugh himself had to do research on Australian slang for this movie. That’s how bad it truly is. You’re Australian! It’s time to change the ways we are perceived. This really irked me. Can you tell? And don’t even get me started on the fact that there is a high number of international bad guys in American movies. That’s right. This time it’s an Australian! “I’ll come and kill ye’ with me didgeridoo, mate!” Ugh.
Anyway, I’m getting off topic. If you want to see a good robot movie, I’d highly recommend seeing i-Robot instead.
It’s not that it’s a bad movie. In fact, the visual effects are stunning and the acting too is good. It’s just that at times the movie is so absurd that it’s laughable. I actually like the concept of the movie as I think it is totally probable in the world we live in today. If a robot was raised by these people, it’s exactly how Chappie would behave and talk. It’s the nature vs nurture theory here – except, clearly, nurture wins out here.
I recently watched Splice which has a similar concept of grooming something non-human to behave in a human manner. But where Splice succeeded, Chappie failed.
I will say this though, I did enjoy the end of the movie. I think the movie ended at a place where if a sequel was made, it could potentially be better than the original. The end of the movie would make for a more interesting concept as a whole and would raise a lot more interesting questions about what it means to be human. I don’t want to give the ending away
To simply, the movie concept had potential but was poorly executed.
I know of people who thoroughly enjoyed Chappie and good for them. I however felt like I wasted two hours of my life watching it. If you think a gangster-robot is something you’d be interested in then this is a movie for you. Otherwise, stay clear!