Thursday, March 19, 2015

CHAPPiE Movie Ryview

CHAPPiE, by Neill Blomkamp.

Spoiler Free Section

Honestly, the movie has some good and some bad. It's a sci-fi tale about a robot that has consciousness, and it definitely plays up the morality and spirituality of that. But it falls flat with quite a bit of the storyline because it takes a few right turns, it has some pretty unbelievable characters, and it really lost me on lots of the messed up details.

If you go in expecting a thinking holiday where you get to enjoy some cool robot stuff and really strange accents, buy some popcorn and go enjoy yourself. I'd definitely recommend it in that case.

But it's not super heavy on the action, the thinking part of the movie isn't particularly well done (except for a few scenes where I was indeed emotionally moved by a robot), and there's a bit of unexpected graphic violence towards the end (unexpected due to the lack of graphic violence through most of the film).

So, I don't recommend it for someone who just wants a bunch of explosions or someone who wants a deep movie about the true ramifications for giving a robot very strong artificial intelligence.

Go in expecting what it is: A sci-fi movie with some grand ideas that don't really pan out to much.

Spoiler Section

It's a pun!

But Seriously.

If you don't want spoilers, stop reading.


You've been warned...

Okay, let's get down to details. Does this company have no security? Seriously, a big chunk of the movie revolves around Dev Patel and Hugh Jackman messing with super-advanced robots that are the city's only line of defense against huge, rampant crime. Don't you think it would be pretty impossible to screw with that? But instead, it's as easy as stealing a stack of napkins from a McDonalds. 

And that scene where Hugh Jackman threatens Dev Patel at gunpoint. In the middle of the office. Surrounded by people. That "prank" would have definitely gotten him fired, and almost certainly detained by the police, and probably put in jail for a long time. Whether or not the gun is loaded, that's still definitely super illegal.

And why the hell is Hugh Jackman's death machine so weak? Let's look at the facts. To have a useful machine, all you need to do is either stop the criminals or kill them (I say kill them because the normal police and the robots seemed fine with deadly force). So why even get anywhere close to them? Hover 500 meters away and take them out with your super advanced robot weapons. Don't get close enough for a knife bomb to blow you up! And shouldn't your chassis be a little stronger? Terrible, purposeless technology.

Also, it's definitely just a Mantis from Halo 4 [1]

Neill is still pissed that he didn't get to direct the Halo movie [2]

But my biggest complaint about the story was that CHAPPiE should have died at the end. I was extremely moved by his realization that he has a broken body. Seeing a child-like robot face his own unexpected mortality is a really fantastic cinematic moment, but all that emotional poignancy is eliminated when he suddenly has a new body. He has this epic sacrifice to save his creator, then suddenly he's saved too! It was ridiculous, and my enjoyment of the movie was immediately eliminated. If he had died, it would have been a moving, thought provoking movie that actually made a statement about artificial intelligence. As it ended up, it's just a story about a robot kicking ass and stealing cars he thought belongs to his gangdad.

Let me know what you think of CHAPPiE!

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Wikipedia except where sourced

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