Neil Blomkamp directed one of my favorite science-fiction films District 9. I love that movie, and afterwards he made Elysium, which was a step-down from District 9, but Matt Damon made the movie watchable and I cared about his character and the special effects we’re terrific. He’s now back to direct Chappie, and really misses the mark with Chappie, which is such a disappointment and such an awful film to watch.
In the near future, robots are now the police. Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) is on the verge of creating Artificial Intelligence in secret and manages to make the robot function and calls him Chappie. Hugh Jackmann is the oppressing force and wants the robot for his own needs. Meanwhile, Deon is kidnapped by two criminals who transform Chappie into an outlaw even though Deon disapproves…
What follows is a two-hour movie of missed opportunities. The story is so bloated and the narrative is so jumbled that it’s impossible to care about any of these characters. Dev Patel is fine in the main role, but he has nothing to do. He’s barely in the movie and you know nothing about his character. Neil Blomkamp manipulates you into liking Ninja and Yolandi, who are playing themselves but aren’t really playing themselves because they’re not in a band in the film, which was a horrible idea. Singers should not be in movies. They’re not actors. They don’t know how to act. It’s really awful to watch since the movie spends most of its time on these already unlikeable and terrible characters. They promote their music in the background and it’s just maddening to watch.
Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver are wasted. Completely wasted. They have absolutely nothing to do. They are fantastic actors, but Neil Blomkamp really screwed up in giving them compelling characters arcs and good motivations to even care about them.
The special effects are fine but they are in no way special. Blomkamp borrows from his previous films like District 9 and Elysium and also Robocop. They’re just subpar special effects and nothing mind-blowing or entertaining to watch.
I thought that Seventh Son was bad. I thought Fifty Shades of Grey was bad. Chappie is on a whole other level of crap and the ending is just ludicrous and just horrendous. Don’t waste your time. It’s not even funny bad. It’s just awful.
Overall, Chappie has all the ingredients to make a good movie, but unfortunately looses itself in it’s bloated narrative, awful characters and terrible pacing and makes you wonder where all that talent went.