Film Review: Chappie

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Police robots are maintaining peace in South Africa. But it isn’t enough for their inventor, Deon. He wants to create a conscious being. When he succeeds, however, his problems are only just beginning.

Three gangsters are on the run, owing too much money in too little time. They see this conscious robot – Chappie – as their way out. They never knew they would form a genuine attachment to their “child”.

Vincent wants his robot to succeed on the market. For that to happen, he must destroy Deon’s creations. Most importantly, that means Chappie.

Can opposite forces work together to save Chappie?

Film: Chappie

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Date: 2015

Rating: 3.75/5

Chappie was not what I was expecting! I naively thought it would follow Short Circuit and WALL-E with an innocent robot charming everyone before saving the world. Technically, that is what happens. But the level of violence and the language took this film to a whole new level. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy it, I just had the wrong idea.

Opposing forces collide spectacularly, with Chappie as the centre force. Deon wants to prove he can create a conscious being and Chappie goes far beyond his expectations. Ninja and Yolandi want to pull off a heist, but take on the roles of parents for a confused robot. Vincent wants to control the robot market and can only do so by discrediting and destroying Deon’s work.

The clash of personalities in this film keeps the tension high. Deon and Ninja clash over Chappie and Vincent will threaten anyone in his way. This is not an innocent film – the good guys will get killed and there was literally no telling who would survive.

Chappie was by far the best character. An innocent child training to be a gangster. Enough said. His speech, enthusiasm and the wrong reactions in a situation add the humour and the entertainment to an otherwise violence-led film. His innocence also makes it all the more moving and heart-wrenching when he is attacked and tortured just because of what he is.

There could be some deep readings done with this film. The idea of prejudice and attacking someone because of what they look like. What is consciousness – is it something we can programme and transfer or is it beyond our reach? Chappie is a gangster film with some deep questions that make it even better to watch.

This film had a good balance between violence and humour, danger and genuine human emotions. I enjoyed the film and this balance is why – you end up caring for all the characters so when the final fight takes place, you want them to all survive. But this isn’t a film with the happiest of endings and losses occur.

Despite having the wrong thing in mind when I watched this film, I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. If you want a rollercoaster of a film, this is it.

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