Chappie (2015) Review

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Chappie

Time: 120 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Sharlto Copley as Chappie
Dev Patel as Deon Wilson
Ninja as Ninja
Yolandi Visser as Yolandi
Jose Pablo Cantillo as Amerika
Sigourney Weaver as Michelle Bradley
Hugh Jackman as Vincent Moore
Director: Neill Blomkamp

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie (Sharlto Copley), is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.

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Chappie has been one of my most anticipated films of the year but it has been getting mixed to negative reviews since its release. It got the point where some people are worried about director Neill Blomkamp taking on the Alien franchise. Despite all the negative reviews I found myself enjoying this movie. It’s not perfect and I think that District 9 and Elysium are better than this, but I still think it’s a good film and is worth checking out if you haven’t seen it already.

One thing that I’ve noticed about the negative reviews of this film is that they didn’t like the direction that the plot went. This is mainly because of the marketing campaign misled expectations into a different direction to what the movie is about, which is why I recommend not watching the trailer. A lot of the movie has Chappie growing up with some drug dealers (played by the members of Die Antwoord) and are personally my main criticism of the film. It’s not the direction of the plot, I know what Blomkamp was trying to do by focussing on immoral characters, they are supposed to be bad people who are sympathetic but I didn’t feel the latter part, especially when it came to a character named Ninja, who I personally just couldn’t stand. Aside from the writing of those characters however, the other characters are well written and the plot kept me interested.

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Sharlto Copley returns for another Neill Blomkamp film and as usual is great. This time taking on motion capture, expresses a lot through it and he seems real and is shown evolving and learning, like a child and I could really see that through his performance. Dev Patel was also really good and Hugh Jackman was great as the villain of the film. Sigourney Weaver was decent but she played so little part in the role it was a wonder why she was cast. As I said earlier, the biggest fault of the movie are the drug dealers, played by the members of music group Die Antwoord. I have no idea why they were cast, but at times the film felt like a 2 hour commercial for them especially seeing as how they keep their band names as their character names. The actors did fine with what they had but the characters could’ve been better written.

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Like I said before, the motion effects on Chappie look excellent, he seemed real and is the highlight of the film. The action scenes like in District 9 and Elysium are fantastic, with great CGI and its cinematography. I do feel like it’s worth mentioning that Blomkamp overused slow motion a little too much for my taste but it’s not really a big flaw. I also particularly enjoy the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, which really isn’t a big surprise, as every score that he composes is excellent.

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With Chappie, Neill Blomkamp (at least for me) proves once again that he’s a great director who can make really good movies. Even though this film hadn’t been getting a lot of love I still think it’s worth watching Chappie and making up your own opinion about it yourself. While some people are worried about Neill Blomkamp taking on the Alien franchise, I’m not. In fact I’m even more excited seeing as how he’s now successfully made 3 solid Sci-Fi films in a row.

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