Saturday, March 7, 2015
Here's the thing, though. This isn't the movie you would expect at all. Based on what I've described along with the trailers, you'd think that this is a Dev Patel and his human-like robot vs. Hugh Jackman and his human-controlled robot. That would bring with it a whole lot of interesting and potentially relevant themes about humanity and what not. This movie goes in a completely different direction that the trailers didn't advertise at all. I don't want to say too much, but the basic premise is that Chappie actually gets kidnapped, so to speak, by this gang who is in desperate need for some great luck due to threats by what's basically a rival gang. They try to train Chappie help them commit various crimes and heists in order to save their butts. Meanwhile Dev Patel is still trying to rescue Chappie so that he'll be trained right and Hugh Jackman of course is trying to implement his plan.
This is where a lot of people take issue with this movie. They wanted the cliche movie that we all wanted and expected. Yes, that movie would've been a great one. But do you know what, I still dug the direction that the movie went. No, it wasn't good robot vs. bad robot, but it did point out the often dark and twisted aspect of humanity. Sure it's all fine and dandy to raise your kids in the perfect world, but how often does that actually happen? You try to teach your kids to live right, but they have to deal with the real world and how corrupt it is. And yes, despite all the parents' efforts, sometimes the kids get caught up in gangs and whatnot. Sometimes they get shown a world of crime, drugs, and violence that they want to experiment with because they think current life is boring. Sometimes kids are deceived by people they consider to be their friends into doing things that they think are right, but are actually wrong. What do you do as parents when this starts to happen? On a similar note, though, parents aren't always perfect. They often have lessons to learn. And what about those friends? Is there room for redemption and change for them? These are the questions that Chappie discusses. We all thought is was going to be the typical good vs. evil story that has been rehashed a thousand times. But it's not. This has frustrated a lot of people, but I personally found it fascinating.
In the end, Chappie wasn't the movie I was expecting it to be. I was expecting a cliche good vs. evil and I was excited for that because Chappie looked like an adorable, lovable robot going against a villain that had a very good reason for being against the A.I. robots. Instead I got a movie that took a good look at how twisted humanity can be. Most people didn't like the direction that Blomkamp and company took this and I can totally see where they are coming from. This movie does have it's flaws. It could've been a lot better. But I will be the one that stands out from the crowd to say that this is still an enjoyable movie. Chappie is as excellent and lovable that I thought he would be. What they did with his character was unexpected, but I bought into it. The duo from Die Antwoord do a better job than many are giving them credit for and Dev Patel is also great. They did waste Hugh Jackman's character, but ultimately that was my biggest complaint, not the story or the acting. If you like Neil Blomkamp's movies, I'd recommend that you still give this one a shot. You just may think this it's better than some people are saying. My grade for Chappie is an 8/10.