Chappie is the type of film you’d expect out of Marvel, yet with no human superhero, more diversity, a bit more vulgarity, and much more violence.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
Deon (Dev Patel) has created quite the invention. His Scout robots have helped to dramatically decrease crime in Johannesburg, South Africa and is making his boss Michelle (Sigourney Weaver) quite rich. However, with Deon’s success comes Vincent’s (Hugh Jackman) failure. For with him having a competing model, the Moose, which is a military grade version of the Scout, his project has consistently lost funding and doesn’t seem to have any buyers.
Enter Chappie (Sharlto Copley), a robot which Deon gives a consciousness. But, rather than keep him in a lab, nurture him, and watch him grow, he is forced to let Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser), Ninja (Ninja), and Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo) raise him. An issue because those three are criminals in dire need of someone like Chappie. Thus leading to a story about how one robot, raised amongst a crime-ridden city, learns all about what it means to be conscious, loved, and to be tough in the face of adversity.
I have cried in movies before but usually when I cry it is due to a character’s death, or just being worn down by all the things which happen to a character that crying is just a natural response. With this film, though, I didn’t find myself just crying because something had happened. I cried tears of joy, I found myself laughing while in tears, and it is all due to Writer/ Director Neill Blomkamp bringing the same spirit which made him famous for District 9 to this movie. For while I could compare the film to something we’ve seen from Marvel, Disney, or other big time studios, it is only because there are so few films which truly seem to try to craft their own path.
Now, speaking on the characters and story, while Patel, Weaver, and Jackman all perform well, it is really Ninja and Visser, and to a certain degree Cantillo, which make this movie. For with the three of them being Chappie’s parents who he models after, it makes all they do for him, or against him, what draws you into this CGI robot and make you fall in love with him. For, as the trailer shows, he starts off very much like a shy child. One who maybe curious about the world around them, but isn’t comfortable enough to ask questions, yet eventually trusting enough to think everyone has their best interest at heart. And through the lovability of Chappie, and his relationships with his parents, that is what leads to you getting more than a good action movie, but an action movie which can get you emotionally invested.
Really, the only thing I can foresee being an issue for some is that maybe the scientific part of things may not make sense. Such as, for engineering a robot, in 2016 mind you, people using Windows XP. Also, considering how many opportunities Deon had to get something which is very important in regards to the Scout program, it is weird he never tries to take that item after giving birth to Chappie – for a lack of a better term. Outside of that, though, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a serious issue with this film.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Let me put it to you this way: I live in the New Jersey and we were just hit with snow today, and despite not having a truck for a vehicle, I went to the movies to see this. And while an example of my lack of common sense at times, I’m quite happy I went out to see this film. For while it may not go over the top with its action, till maybe the end; doesn’t go over the top when it comes to the drama; and I can’t fully say Jackman makes the best villain out there, it has one thing rarely seen in action films: Heart. And I’m not talking about the hero falling for some sort of damsel in distress, saving their kid from some sort of mob, or anything like that. I’m talking about a film which takes the time to craft genuine relationships of which the foundations is about love and trust, and lets us see that evolve every step of the way and most of the ways love can be seen. Whether at its best when it is unconditional or when it is at its worse when love turns to hate or disappointment. This is the type of film which I can see myself watching multiple times and making me a fan of Neill Blomkamp.