Going into “CHAPPiE”, you’d think the film is going to be about some sort of robot revolution regarding A.I. and if it’s wrong or right. Well that’s the impression going in but like an impotent mans wife, “CHAPPiE” leaves you ultimately disappointed after such a good build up.
Plot wise “CHAPPiE” revolves around many subplots but mainly around a robot named Chappie (sorry to spoil that), an artificial A.I. created by Deon, a software engineer, (Dev Patel) stolen by Ninja, Yolandi, (Duo of Die Antwoord) and Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo) who owe money to a crime lord. The three raise Chappie while Deon occasionally shows up to make sure he is not being taught wrongly. Meanwhile at Deon’s work, another engineer, Vincent, is extremely jealous because his own invention is not being praised and tries to do anything to one up Deon including (mild spoilers) taking off all the scouts so his own invention can be used. If we continue, spoilers would emerge.
That’s the thing about “CHAPPiE” is that it has these extremely grand, wonderful, and possibly deep ideas to be explored but it does none of that and carries out like a film from the 80’s, which is fine, but at times it doesn’t stick with the fun mentality or the deep philosophical one either and goes back and forth offering the audience a completely eschewed view from either. Think of if Black Dynamite suddenly offered up a completely out of nowhere message non ironically. It would just be odd and tonally not right (unless done in some in an extremely tight rope walked manner).
At the end of the day “CHAPPiE” wants to offer up ideas of its own and still have a fun universe with having no idea of how to do it correctly which makes it all the more frustrating since if it would have just chosen a route to go it could have been great but instead decides to do nothing on a wasted premise and leave a mulleted Hugh Jackman nothing to do in the films finale.
Aside from that, everything else is good. The acting, cinematography, could be story but again when all of that is wasted on a film that goes nowhere in its prodding it’s hard to recommend unless you catch it on TNT of FX in a couple of years on a saturday morning.
Spoilers ahead as a rant is incoming.
One thing that is incredibly infuriating is that in the film Chappie discovers immortality using PS4s. Instead of maybe expanding on this since it is apart of the films ending or doing a little more explaining besides consciousnesses is just matter that needs to be transferred and then interrupted. Also, Deon in the third act turns into one of his own scouts and doesn’t find it fascinating that this happened, just a mere thanks and let’s go on our way! Nothing is more aggravating than to see an idea bigger than the one featured in the film just merely for a happy ending and not one single review i’ve seen has brought it up. Maybe everyone just gave up by that point in the film.