“Chappie is a good Idea in theory, but the execution was just disappointing”
Last night I watched Chappie and honestly I’m torn on what exactly I think about this movie. For those who don’t know Chappie is a movie about a robot who is made sentient as an experiment. The experiment works and Chappie comes into this world having to learn everything himself much like a child. The problem is that the people who are caring for him are gangsters, and they want to use him as a tool for robberies. That’s about all there is to this movie, so how they stretched it to two hours is beyond me.
Actually, I take that back, it isn’t that outlandish that they stretched it to two hours because it seems like a lot of story elements were shoehorned in. Let me explain: when I said earlier that I was torn on my opinion that is because Chappie is simultaneously one of the worst movies I have ever seen, and one of the best movies I have ever seen (maybe not one of the best ever, but a really good execution of an interesting premise). Think of it like this: you sit down at a restaurant and you order a 3 course meal. You have heard mixed things about this restaurant but you decided to try it yourself. The first course comes out and it is the worst salad you have ever seen in your life. It consists of only lettuce, which is completely brown due to its age, and a carrot that has gone soft. You chuckle to yourself because it is exactly as bad as people had told you. For the sake of curiosity (and this metaphor) you eat the entire salad because you want to see what comes next. The waiter approaches your table with the best steak you have seen in your life. It’s not a popular cut of steak, so you could understand why others wouldn’t like it, but to you it is perfect. You take your time eating the stake, savouring each and every bite down to your last. When you finish the steak you are having a great time at the restaurant. You have forgotten every bad word you have heard about it, and honestly you would be content to leave. That’s when you remember that you ordered a three course meal, and the waiter approaches with a brownie on a plate. The brownie doesn’t look all that great, but hey it’s a brownie. You’re already this far along so you start eating the brownie. Every bite tastes worst than the last. You start having fears that everyone was right, maybe this restaurant is the worst place ever. You take your last bite and swallow it, and only then do you realize that you had been fed pure, unadulterated shit on a plate. You sit in the restaurant with your mouth agape. You want to vomit but you seem frozen with shock. Everything was going so well until you were fed a plate of shit. You are now torn because you really loved the steak, but you realize that the salad was terrible and the brownie was made out of shit. That is where I stand with Chappie.
Sorry for the really long metaphor but it was the best way for me to describe my feelings for Chappie. The movie starts off with these really weird, out of place news reals, and an odd segment with Anderson Cooper of all people. Then it cuts to about 30 minutes of story we don’t care about. Gangsters who look like Mad Max rejects, an engineer that is your stereotypical 80’s nerd, but the movie then picks up when Chappie is introduced. Honestly the middle of the movie (which consists of Chappie learning things) is super fun and pretty cute. You can tell that this movie started out being only that, and I wish it had stayed that way. The ending wraps the movie up in one of the worst ways possible, with a Die Antwoord commercial. As a matter of fact, the entire movie felt like a fucking Die Antwoord commercial. Out of the 10 songs used in the movie at least 8 of the them were by Die Antwoord, and the dude even fucking wears a Die Antwoord t-shirt at the end of the movie. I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Die Antwoord is a South African band consisting of two people, and those two people play the two gangsters that “raise” Chappie. Honestly their acting wasn’t good, their product placement wasn’t good, and at one point the woman is wearing a fucking Chappie t-shirt! Where the fuck did she get that? Chappie wasn’t known by anyone except for them in the movie, and the t-shirt looked professionally made. Am I supposed to think that this character went out and ordered a custom Chappie t-shirt? Or is she just good at screen printing t-shirts in her fucking run down warehouse where she lives?!
The movie falls apart on many fronts. The acting was terrible except for Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel. I was honestly surprised that Sigourney Weaver was even in this movie, because at this point it is a pattern for Neill Blomkamp to take established hollywood actresses and put them in roles where they are fucking abysmal (here’s looking at you, Jodie Foster. I still have nightmares because of your “performance” in Elysium). The CG in Chappie is really good (much like every Neill Blomkamp film) until it completely shits the bed. I was surprised that the man who made fucking aliens look really couldn’t do the same with robots. ROBOTS FUCKING EXIST ALREADY IT’S NOT HARD! And don’t even get me started on that fucking last scene right before the credits. That ladies and gentlemen, is where I realized I had been eating shit for the past 20 minutes. There were also some technical aspects of the movie that were shitty. For one, every ariel shot used in the movie had a grainy look to it which stopped it from matching with any other shots. The first time it happened I thought we were seeing a view from a “real” police helicopter, but it turned out to just be shitty directing. There was also a glaring editing mistake that I couldn’t help but notice. During the movie a character gets thrown into the ceiling, which is fine, except for the fact that they hit the ceiling then the camera angle switches quickly and they hit the ceiling again. This is like fucking amateur hour shit to mess up. And one last thing, why were there subtitles for english speaking characters? They spoke english, we didn’t need subtitles. I admit that the characters could be a little hard to understand at times but do you know the solution for that? DON’T CAST THAT FUCKING PERSON! Holy shit, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if you told me that this was Neill Blomkamp’s first ever movie. It’s a shame because the dude seemed untouchable with District 9. Chappie is a good Idea in theory, but the execution was just disappointing.
Overall Chappie is a movie that starts out as shit, turns into something enjoyable, but quickly shits in your mouth just in time for the credits to roll.
I give Chappie a C