In Chappie, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), the man responsible for creating the robot police force in South Africa to deal with the high crime rate in Johannesburg, creates artificial intelligence which enables the robots to have feelings, opinions etc. After the CEO of the company in which he works doesn't approve the idea, Deon steals a robot on which he can test the artificial intelligence chip on. On his way home, robbers Ninja, Yolandi, and Amerika kidnap Deon. The robbers, who owe 20 million to a powerful gangster, decide to use the artificially intelligent robot, named Chappie, to help them set up and execute a heist to obtain money. Meanwhile, Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman), a man desperately trying to convince the CEO of to manufacture his MOOSE, a heavily armored robot which can be controlled by a human, plots to bring down Deon's robots.
To be honest, I was expecting Chappie to be a great film even though it was trashed on almost every review website. The trailer made me feel compelled to what I thought was going to be an action-packed, exciting and yet beautiful story of a robot named Chappie. Also, taking in account that director Neill Blomkamp's previous films were quite sensational and mind-opening, I predicted that Chappie would be at least up to their level, if not better. However, my instincts were proven wrong as I was 'treated' to 2 hours of a muddled plot, unstimulating action, wasted actors and filthy swearing.
Movies like Chappie which ask the audience big questions usually end up being fantastic or outright awful. Unfortunately, Chappie ended up on the awful side. It felt as if two completely different storylines were tangled together to form one. Usually, it's easy to see what the movie is focussing on. For example, the focus of Transformers was on action while the focus of Interstellar was on emotional drama. However, Chappie tried to balance the aspects and focus on everything at once, which resulted in the collapse of the storyline. There were some moments which were naive and beautiful but there were ruined by the hilariously awful and stupid gangster type of scenes showing Ninja and Amerika trying to turn Chappie into a gangster. Chappie would have been a much better film if it followed Vincent Moore's or the robbers' story separately and not both of them at once.
Hugh Jackman, who potrayed Vincent Moore, was completely wasted. His character wasn't developed enough to be the big bad villain in the end. As a matter of fact, even Deon Wilson wasn't developed enough. Dev Patel acted fantastically, but considering the amount of screen time he got, I felt as if he was a supporting actor rather than a protagonist. The robbers, however, occupied most of the movie's runtime and at the 1-hour mark, their characters became very uninteresting and overused. Had it been the opposite, and Vincent Moore and Deon Wilson were given the majority of the run-time, the movie could have turned out to be more engaging.
Now, time to talk about the action. Usually films which fail at delivering good characters, storylines etc., are saved by the action sequences. However, in Chappie's case, the action felt very restricted. The opening fight wasn't that bad, but the main problem came in the end when Vincent Moore tried to destroy Chappie, Deon and the robbers using the MOOSE. The whole scene took place in an abandoned factory, where the robbers resided. The factory, where the majority of the film took place, was a very small and boring place. I was expecting a mammoth battle on the streets of Johanessberg to end the movie, but instead I had to sit through 15 minutes of a fight, which felt very small and unsatisfying.
Altogether, Chappie is an awful and boring movie. The muddled plot wasn't interesting and the characters who were supposed to occupy most of the screen time were underused. The action sequences, which didn't provide any thrills, were terrible and the ending was just stupid. It's time for Neill Blomkamp to move on to a different genre and for Chappie to be forgotten.