A Robot With a Heart.
SpoilersChappie is set in the distance future of 2016, where autonomous humanoid robots have replaced flesh and blood law enforcement. Our hero is severely injured while doing his job and becomes part of an experiment. Oh wait, that’s Robocop.
Chappie lifts a lot of it’s plot from Robocop and lifts a lot of it’s emotional elements from District 9. We have a poor innocent robot who we are told is a new born. What makes these scenes hard to watch is how evil and heartless everyone he meets is. From his adopted family of psycho criminals to random kids who set him on fire to a worker from the factory where he was made who chops off an arm, everyone is uniformly awful. Like District 9 and Robocop, this is a world that isn’t worth protecting.
Chappie wasn’t a bad film and it had it’s moments. The acting was good. Always a shock to see Hugh Jackman as an evil bastard. The sets were very good and looked very urban decay. The occasional bits of blood and gore were a little too well done.
Which brings me to the robot effects. Ten years ago this film would have been the subject of every TV show on earth just because of it’s special effects. The robots looked absolutely perfect. They were rendered to a level of realism that was so good, you stopped noticing they were special effects. All except for one. Sigh. As with Robocop and Matrix Revolutions, our director Neill Blomkamp couldn’t resist dropping a MechWarrior into his story of machines. If there’s one thing Chappie didn’t need, it was a giant remote control MechWarrior.Cahppie‘s ending was fun, but didn’t make a lot of sense. Of course, there was a lot here that didn’t make much sense. A lot of people really hated this film. I didn’t think it was all that bad. But then, I didn’t love District 9 the way so many people did.