Banner: Media Rights Capital
Producer: Simon Kinberg
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Cast: Sharlto Copley as Chappie (voice. & motion capture), Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo – Landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, Anderson Cooper, Brandon Auret & Watkin Tudor Jones
Music: Hans Zimmer
Director Neill Blomkamp of ‘District 9’ & ‘Elysium’ fame has treaded on a different kind of filmmaking genre, namely that of robotic world in lieu with the multi – million dollar heist angle.
The plotted scenario reveals that Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is the lead programmer of the Scouts programme, which has provided Johannesburg with an all – robotic police force and brought order to the lawless town. Deon Wilson is working on making his machines better through giving them artificial intelligence. Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) is a war veteran, who doesn’t care for nerds such as colleague Deon Wilson, wears shorts to office unlike Deon Wilson’s tie & shirt and who is pushing for his own Moore programme in which humans will control a crime – busting robot via a neuro – transmitter helmet. Things take a turn when Deon Wilson is denied permission to try his breakthrough A. I. technology on his Scouts. He then secretes a dismantled robot away, is kidnapped on his way home and threatened by his abductors to load this robot with the a new technology. The result is ‘Chappie’, a robot that is like a child when rebooted, but who learns things much, much faster, is curious, inquisitive, has feelings and a consciousness. Chappie is absolutely charming. The scenario takes a turn and brings in South African musicians Ninja & Yo – Landi Visser, along with Cantillo, who play the gangsters who kidnapped Deon Wilson. Yo – Landi Visser takes on the role of Chappie’s ‘mother’, she reads him bedtime stories, delights in his paintings and the speed at which he picks up new words and tells him all about soul. On the other hand Ninja takes on the role of Chappie‘s father and begins to like him, though his primary motive remains using Chappie to pull off a multi – million dollar heist and ward off fellow robotic police officers. Time for another twist, Chappie is attacked, has his arm cut off and stumbles through his first few hours bewildered at how things are turning out. Particularly as “maker” Deon Wilson had instructed him “never, ever” to do anything criminal.
‘Chappie’ (stylized as Chappie) is an American science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp. The screenplay, written by Blomkamp & his real life spouse Terri Tatchell, is based on Blomkamp’s own 2004 short film ‘Tetra Vaal’. Not to forget his copied inspiration (Read Robocop). The only praiseworthy crew members are cinematographer Trent Opalach and to some extent editor Julian Clarke and music composer Hans Zimmer.
Performance wise it is Dev Patel of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame as Deon Wilson who walks away with all the acting honors as he makes his presence felt in all the frames throughout the film’s duration. The next in line impressive performers are Ninja & Yo – Landi Visser. The rest of the actors like Jose Pablo Cantillo, Anderson Cooper, Brandon Auret & Watkin Tudor Jones are ok. But the most let down act has been delivered by Sigourney Weaver & Hugh Jackman.
Tailpiece: ‘Chappie’ can be recommended as an enjoyable fare for Kids.