The Poor Chap
Chappie is Directed by Neil Bloomkamp (District 9, Elysium) and stars Dev Patel (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Sharlto Copley (Maleficent), Yo-Landi Visser and Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine). 'In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself'. Can Chappie be an acclaimed project for Neil Bloomkamp's resume?
I have major issues with this film. There are so many parts about it that I didn't like. However, lets begin on a more positive note (much like the film did). Chappie started off very strong and intriguing - I enjoyed the film all the way up to when he was 'being trained'. However, things then took a really odd path that didn't really fit in with the film - this could have been effective for other films but it just didn't work with Chappie. The story ended up just being stupid - it is basically Wall-E (one of my favourite movies) meets Robocop and Transformers and the result isn't great. Even though the plot is generally quite original, I just think it is dumb and has many narrative plot holes - the story contradicts itself at times and is very inconsistent. Chappie also couldn't decide what film it wanted to me - comedy, action, family or sci-fi - there were elements of them all - this sometimes works but you know what they say '2s company, 3s a crowd' - it tries to appeal to too many genres.
SPOILERS - The ending of the film was one of the funniest, cheesiest and stupidest things I've ever witnessed. When Chappie turns his maker into a fellow robot, it is just stupid. If that's not enough, Chappie then turns his 'mother' into one too - Chappie has to be the greediest character in film history- turing his loved ones into robots because he wants them around him - he could be classed as a villain in some aspects - what if his maker and mother were satisfied with their time on earth?
The acting in the film was also really bad. Dev Patel was good at the beginning but like the movie, he got worse as it went on - this may be due to boredom and him realising what a stupid film he has been cast in. The voice for Chappie (Copley) also gets quite annoying towards the end. However, the award for worst acting has to go to Yo-Landi Visser - all of her lines were cringey and just weren't performed very well. Her fashion choices weren't much better either.
Chappie's cinematography was also really inconsistent. The film would cut from good quality to a really fuzzy bad quality camera - this happened quite frequently and really interrupted my connection with the film. I don't know whether this was done to try and create some effect but I just found it very messy and sloppy - surely the director would have noticed this before letting it be distributed and released?
Another thing I liked about this movie was that there were quite a few nice messages - these probably wouldn't be beneficial to many of the viewers though as they are generally messages that adults will have already learnt - if only this had passed with a PG rating and they may have been appreciated a bit more!
Chappie would have worked much better as a family movie - the same first act but then a whole new second and third. The film did have some nice messages but was overrun with terrible acting, inconsistent camera qualities and a stupid story - this is a real contender for the worst film of the year. Towards the end of the film a news report asks 'viewers' to report to the police if they see Chappie - I'd happily do so because I do not ever want to see this film or that robot ever again.