BY Molly Congdon
There were high expectations for “Chappie,” directed by the same man who did “District 9,” Neill Blomkamp. Unfortunately, despite all of its potential, it fell short.
It is set in the future, a time when crime is fought by a robotic police force — Scouts, which were created by computer genius Dean Wilson (Dev Patel). Even in the face of complete success, this brilliant mind wants more; he longs to discover a way to make it possible for one mechanized man to have the ability to think and feel for himself. Naturally, almost as soon as the movie begins he has his epic breaking point.
Wilson heads straight to his boss, Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver), to request permission to test his program out on one robot, but she says the word no one likes to hear: no. Of course, he will not be stopped — this is basically his life’s work she just told him to toss aside. He steals a police robot that was going to be destroyed — because of damage it received in the field — and plans to take it home. But then something happens that Wilson did not expect: He is abducted by three criminals who want him give them the remote to turn off the robots. Such a remote does not exist, but they believe it does as much as children have faith in Santa Claus sliding down the chimney.
Then they find the robot in his truck and Wilson is forced to try his new program, so that they can use the robot to help them steal lots of money to pay off the man who will kill them if they don’t. Thus, Chappie, the machine with a conscious soul, is born.
Like a child, Chappie must learn how to speak, understand words and objects and everything else. However, he is able to do this at a much more rapid speed than a human. What a shock.
Everything goes wrong when Wilson’s jealous co-worker, Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman), catches a glimpse of Chappie. He spends the rest of the movie hell-bent on destroying Wilson so that his own robot can be the police model. Stick to being Wolverine, Hugh.
The villain’s performance isn’t the only negative aspect about this movie. First of all, it was annoying. Like actually really annoying. The angry, ranting potty-mouthed gangster character is a cliché by now, and not a fun one. It wouldn’t have been an issue if these guys were featured within just a couple of scenes, but they were throughout the entire film. Please make the trashy thugs with large bling dangling from their necks stop screaming!
Also it had a full-circle kind of ending. If you see the film, you’ll probably be able to guess it. It was like trying to place a pretty bow on a poorly wrapped present; it seemed too nice for the rest of the package.
“I liked it. You could tell it was by the same guy who did ‘District 9,’ in a good way.”
— Tim Pompa
“I thought it was really good. The storyline was different.”
— Lauren Fogarty