by Julian Pancaldi
Chappie, directed by Neill Blompkampf (District 9, Elysium), is set in the year 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa, after it has replaced the majority of their police force with robots. The plot involves a single robot who is given conscious artificial intelligence in secret by the inventor of the police force robots. Starring South African rap group Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Yolandi Visser along with Dev Patel, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, and Hugh Jackman, the movie boasts a diverse but not necessarily up-to-par cast. Performances by Ninja and Yolandi, while definitely exiciting to fans of their music, are not the best. While Hugh Jackman delivers well, his character’s insistance on wearing what are practically booty shorts and carrying a rugby ball the entire film are unintentionally hilarious.
The movie has garnered very negative reviews, most of them accurate from a critical point of view. For example, the film touched many topics but did not devote any time to explore them whatsoever. The ending, which is surprisingly interesting and exciting, suffers from this most of all. But accusations of the movie not being fun or enjoyable are misplaced.
While fans of Blompkampf may have been hoping for a follow up to District 9 in terms of thoughtprovoking cinema, Chappie sadly falls short. But to people who are looking for an exciting and often humorous science fiction movie, Chappie is definitely worth the two hours to go see.