Hey there blog readers of Second Opinion. It has been awhile since I wrote a movie review. First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my absence. I have been watching films in cinemas but never got to sit down and write a movie review. Thank you for reading and being my loyal readers since I begin this blog in April 2013. From now on, I am going to write as much as I can whenever I get the chance.
The movie about I am about to review is one I have been waiting for as it is directed by one of my favourites, South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp. He burst onto the scene with his directorial debut District 9 (2009) to critically acclaim. District 9 was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture. District 9 is one of my favourites because it was film on a relatively low-budget but looked incredibly epic. Blomkamp followed up with Elysium (2013) starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.
Chappie is Blomkamp’s third directorial effort. Written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, Chappie stars Shartlo Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, and Sigourney Weaver. Copley has been in all of Blomkamp’s films and could be considered somewhat like his ‘muse’. The film is produced by Simon Kinberg with a motion picture score by renowned composer Hans Zimmer.
How will Blomkamp’s third feature fare? Do read on…
In the not too distant future in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, the city’s police force is now protected by humanoid-form robots known as scouts. These robots are supplied by a company called Tetravaal where the robots’ inventor Deon works. The popularity of the robot scouts eventually fueled resentment from another employee who is hell-bent on seeing them fail. An avid inventor, Deon soon develops a software which could allow the robots to think and feel like a human being. Using a robot scout as an experiment, he eventually succeeds in designing a robot scout named Chappie with consciousness albeit having the mind of young child. However, Chappie falls into the hands of criminal gangsters who have different motives.
|Chappie and inventor Deon (Dev Patel)|
Original and interesting. As with Blomkamp’s previous films, he writes stories which are fresh but centers around the same themes of futuristic robots. The story structure is a little scattered but can be understood if you pay attention. The dialogue consist of many technical jargon. Good characterization of the lead and supporting characters. It is no different from Blomkamp’s previous films where it explores the struggle between the importance of a human element in a world surrounded by machines.
|Actor Hugh Jackman wielding a gun|
Actor Shartlo Copley plays the robot Chappie but he is not physically seen in the movie. His voice is heard through the robot and is quite likeable. Dev Patel did okay. Several supporting cast members of South African actors did well. Despite having a huge star in Hugh Jackman as the villain, his performance was eventually stole by the delightfulness of Chappie.
|Chappie and some gangsters|
The filmmaking technique and style does not stray away too much from Blomkamp’s previous films. The production design was nice. The cinematography was good too. However, the major credit has to be given to the visual effects in creating Chappie. Actor Shartlo Copley’s body movements of the robot, done through ‘Performance Capture” technique, was a delight to watch and definitely state of the art.
|Director Neill Blomkamp on set|
Very slow in the beginning and tries to cramp in too much. But it slowly builds up to a nice climax in the end.
A journey of self-discovery in a world that is already corrupt with greed and only the strong will survive.
|Chappie and Deon|
A little slow on the pacing. Too much technical jargon. Script needs a little work.
The delightfulness that is the visual effects of the robot Chappie.
|Chappie in action|
The movie is not too bad and not too good either. Enjoyable and fun.
7 out of 10