“Chappie no crimes!”
After the relative disappointment of Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s next movie was never going to be particularly highly anticipated. Nevertheless, many eyes turned towards Chappie, another South African movie that looked cool on the trailers and had the potential to be another allegoric master-stroke like District 9. But to put it bluntly, it isn’t anywhere near.
What I liked…
Chappie. The impressionable robotic youth really grows on you after a while and by the end you are rooting for his cause as he hands Hugh Jackman a new one by throwing an office tantrum.
It’s actually surprisingly funny. The movie’s saving grace is that it leaned more towards the comedic aspects of science-fiction, with Chappie himself especially adding to the general levity.
What I didn’t like…
Constantly borrows from other films in a slightly perverse rather than respectful way. Classic films like Short Circuit and Robocop are dug out of their graves and dressed up for the sake of referencing. I know it’s a pet hate, but it’s still unnecessary and shameful.
I like Die Antwoord, I really do. And I commend Neill Blomkamp for giving them a shot. But let’s face it, from the get go you know the acting is poor and it really prevents any sense of drama and tension being created. Esepcailly Ninja, it really is painful.
Verdict: I really hope Blomkamp doesn’t fall down the M. Night Shyamalan hole here. After District 9’s quality script and fantastic acting, I can’t help but feel he has fallen foul to believing his own hype. Let’s face it, if Chappie didn’t have the amazing looking robot and high production value, it would be borderline awful in terms of script and plot. 5/10