By Alice Denmark
When looking up the reviews given by critics and on sites like rotten tomatoes the reviews were incredibly mixed for this new film, Chappie. Also watching the trailer really made me sceptical. The trailer is just terrible, it doesn’t give the film any justice to how good it really is. The film title isn’t exactly great either.
The film is set in Johannesburg, where police robots are commissioned to control the high crime rates in the city. The creator of the Robots Deon (Dev Patel) is shown working on a new breakthrough experiment, establishing consciousness’ within a robot. After being rejected by his boss Michelle (Sigourney Weaver) to test the experiment he does it in secret. However, on to he way he is hijacked and kidnapped by gangsters in order to use his robots for their own uses.
Chappie is then born. The transporting of the consciousness is successful and Chappie starts to develop like a child, slowly learning words and actions. Ninja, Yolandi and Yankie keep him at their hideout and Chappie starts to learn and mimic them. Chappie forms a bond with Yolandi and refers to her as Mommy and Ninja as Daddy. Meanwhile, Vincent (Hugh Jackman) undergoes his plan to sabotage Deon’s robots so his robot Moose a chance to shine.
In some parts of the film is was funny, but I also felt like I was in a philosophy and ethics lesson back at sixth form. The intimate segments of Yolandi and Chappie was full of emotion and was very deep in the sense of the audience asking questions, such as what makes us human? Chappie become more human inside then a robot in all characteristics and conveys certain morals and ideals, which was very surprising.
As well as the moral and emotional roller-coaster given by Chappie and his family, the climatic scene towards the end was jam-packed with action. Missiles, guns, bombs and knives all thrown into one massive showdown which the film had been building up to rolex replica. Also the unexpected Quentin Taratinto-esk death of Yankie really got me by surprise. Yankie being cut in half in such a graphic way really woke me up halfway through the battle sequence. Several people die including the lovable Yolandi, whose death almost made me cry. Enraged, Chappie violently beats up Vincent to the point he’s paralysed on the floor. The ultimate ending was a decent conclusion, not necessarily a happy on, but there is a possible suggestion of a sequel?
While the marketing hasn’t done the film justice, Chappie was a thoroughly enjoyable film and pushed so many buttons for me as a cinema goer. I understand why the reviews are mixed generally online, but I think it needs more recognition for the development of the characters especially Chappie. I loved it!