Dev Patel whilst working on the robots he has designed for the Johannesburg police force, discovers that he has created a true AI (Chappie). Meanwhile Yolandi Visser and Ninja (Die Antwood) need to find a shedload of cash to appease their dreadlocked gangster boss, they steal Chappie and try to mould his impressionable young mind into a gangster like them.
If you’ve seen the adverts for Chappie, you’ve probably noticed that there are two different films being advertised. One is a tale of what it means to be a human, in which the true meaning of an AI is investigated, and the other is a massive blockbuster with plentiful explosions and loud action sequences. Now the reason for this is, because it’s actually both of those things. I know some have complained that they thought because of this it became muddled, but I didn’t find this. I actually thought that these two parts were balanced very well.
A worry I had going into the film was that Die Antwood wouldn’t have the acting talent, and it would be distracting. But five minutes in these worries were put to rest, as they were both very convincing in their roles and delivered rather good performances. Hugh Jackman is also very good as the unhinged rival to Dev Patel in the workplace. But the key performance in Chappie, is Chappie. Sharlto Copley stars in motion capture as the titular role, and he is absolutely superb as the robot who learns traits and speech patterns from those around him. Throughout the duration of the movie he goes from wide eyed and naïve, to extremely self-aware and intelligent, all the while commending your screen attention for every second he appears.
There are some issues with the film, most of them small plot holes. It would appear extremely easy to steal from the biggest arms manufacturer in South Africa, or in fact just take a memory stick that can control every single robot they have ever produced. However most of these only become apparent after viewing. And it certainly didn’t draw away from my enjoyment of the film.
Overall this is a properly fun movie with great characters, fantastic action set pieces and just enough thought provoking ideas to keep you ticking after it has finished.