“I am Chappie. I am Consciousness.” I have constantly been saying that for the past three weeks or so. All though I wasn’t a huge fan of Elysium which I saw before District 9(which I was not a fan of at all). But Elysium while not great was ok, and Chappie has made me excited to see. The trailers looked great, the film looked fun, and Chappie himself looked lovable. It is written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, and stars Dev Patel, Watkin Tudor Jones, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman and Sharlto Copley as the voice of Chappie. And sadly, Blomkamp has not delivered on this film.
Now this is not exactly a SPOILER but I am going to give you a rundown of the film. Just plot, not details. But the trailers paint Chappie in a completely different light. So rather then tell you the plot that the trailer has portrayed, I am going to tell you the plot synopsis of the actual film. If you don’t want to know, I’d say skip the next paragraph but some of my negatives will talk about the plot to. YE BE WARNED! THEIR BE MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
So Chappie tells the tale of a Johannesburg South Africa that has become crime ridden and they have decided to release the world’s first robotic police force. The creator of the robots, Deon Wilson (Patel) has created a side project of giving a robot artificial intelligence, and the ability to grow and learn. Meanwhile Ninja (Jones) and Yolandi (Visser) get themselves in a bind with a drug dealer they work for, and decide to teach this robot to be violent and help steal to pay back the drug lord. All while Deon’s rival coworker, Vincent Moore (Jackman), wants Deon’s success with his own police robot that is not controlled by itself, but by humans.
Doesn’t sound like a lot of Chappie does it? That’s because the film doesn’t focus on Chappie as much as it should. It is centered on Yolandi and Ninja and they are not good people. The characters are scum and villains in a war against other scum and villains. And you watch corrupt Chappie, who the film has beat you over the head with the fact that he is a child, and learns at a fast pace, but is still a child. He attempts to do well, but is lead to believe what his “daddy” and “Mommy” are doing are not wrong.
The casting is a major problem. Jones and Visser are not trained actors. They are rappers. And it shows very much. The deliver terrible performances that are flat and unconvincing. But as bad as they are, the script is worse. The dialog is just awful, and the execution is terrible. Absolutely no character development, except for Chappie. The only person in the film that has any sort of redeeming quality is Dev Patel’s character. But he is barely in the film. He is almost a side character. The trailers made it seem he is the morality that Chappie learns from but you get very little interaction with him.
Another issue is focusing on these rappers. You have Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, and Dev Patel, and you barely use them in the film? Are you kidding me? You center your film on musicians rather than trained, credible actors? Or even around the robot! Had they showed us more scenes of Chappie growing, and learning it might have been a lot more fun? And to top everything off, the film has one of the most cop out screw the audience endings I have ever seen. What a joke.
It’s not all bad, there are a few fun aspects. The cinematography is beautiful. One thing Blomkamp knows how to do is build an amazing world for his films to take place in. The CGI is great. Chappie is almost as realistic as Caesar from the Planet of the Apes franchise. Sharlto Copley is great as the voice as Chappie. He is actually real fun to watch grow when in the few scenes you get it. The ED-209 rip off is an amazing machine to see and the violent action scene is filmed and done well.
So that is what we got Jackass Nation. Basically the first legit Let Down of 2015 in my humble opinion. I’m giving it a pretty low Jeebus score of 2.1. Don’t waste your money folks. Go see Kingsmen again. But what say you? Were you looking forward to Chappie? Are planning on seeing it, have you seen it? What are your thoughts if you have? What about District 9 and Elysium? Sound off in the comments below!
The Jeebus Score explained
The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.