Arts

A Sentient Cop’s Journey to Personhood

Sci-Fi Installment “Chappie” Promises Enjoyment

By Matthew McKenna

Half way through “dead season” in the movie world, the new science-fiction movie “Chappie” arrived and it has promise in terms of enjoyment.

Neill Blomkamp, who directed “District 9,” also directed “Chappie.” There is a strong cast behind it, including Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, and a few others. It is rated R.

Set in Johannesburg in the near future, crime runs rampant in the city and it needs a new kind of cop to make it safe. The city creates robotic cops known as Scouts to work with human cops in an attempt to restore order.

We are introduced to a couple of gangsters, Ninja, played by Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, who plays herself, and America, or Yankie, played by Jose Pablo Cantillo, who are in trouble with the local crime lord and must pay him a lot of money.

Unknowingly, they are followed by the police force and a huge fight occurs. When one of the robots gets seriously damaged, audiences are then introduced to the one who created the robots, Deon, played by Dev Patel, who orders for it to be dismantled.

Deon desires to create artificial intelligence and when he succeeds, he uses the damaged robot as a test subject. However, he is kidnapped by Ninja and Yankie and ordered to get the robot working so they can pull off a heist.

When it comes to life, it acts like a baby, scared and not knowing who the people are that are surrounding it. It is Yolandi who gives the robot a name, Chappie, voiced by Sharlto Copley.

As time passes on, Deon wants to increase Chapie’s intelligence and creativity while Ninja wants to turn Chappie into a killer so that he can pull off the heist.

As Deon tries to teach Chappie, he is discovered by coworker and rival, Vincent, played by Hugh Jackman, a veteran and creator of the failed Moose program that was the original idea for the robot police force.

Chappie learns new things and develops a personality of his own, one that is funny and innocent as a child.

As the movie develops, Vincent hatches a plan to get his robot to work while Deon is left to fail and Chappie gets himself into trouble. Eventually chaos breaks out into the city and the tension rises.

This movie overall is good and has its highlights, but has some downfalls.

What is bad about this movie is that even though the plot and story are there, with all these characters, you tend to get confused. Luckily, it all comes together in the ending.

Another issue is that it is hard to determine whether it’s good or bad is how the movie is very similar to “Short Circuit,” where the robot, Johnny 5, is trying to learn but is also being hunted by the government.

Some of the dialogue doesn’t feel believable or doesn’t make sense.

What is enjoyable about this film is watching Chappie’s growth as a character– from a newborn to a robotic gangster. The special effects are fantastic to the point where you can’t tell if Chappie is a CGI or is animatronic.

The casts’ performance is crisp and believable and each one has their own arc. Sigourney Weaver makes an appearance and her character is also believable.

Action scenes are terrific and enjoyable to watch. The humor in the movie is also a great factor.

 

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