Chappie (2015)

Talents : Sharlto Copley (voice & mo-cap), Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Ninja, Yo-landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Brandon Auret, Sigourney Weaver. Written by : Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell. Directed by : Neill Blomkamp.

Tiera: You’ll need to look past the surface a bit on this one but there’s some good stuff when you do. . As usual Neill Blomkamp manages to sneak a solid morality tale into what is what is more or less a heist movie. Not the morality surrounding the heist or the gangsters involved, but the morality of using a robot with the mind of a child as the muscle. It’s playing god in the digital age and, perhaps uniquely, an insight on the parenting required when one successfully creates AI. Frankenstein touched on this a bit, but more from the Creature’s side once he’d realized he’d been neglected. Dev Patel realizes this responsibility from the get go and does his best. What’s cool is those who initially see Chappie as tool to meet their ends, end up loving him after he shows his love to them.

Tiere: It’s a likeable and often fun action flick punctuated by likeable and often fun Dev Patel in what’s probably his best performance since Slumdog Millionaire. We get to know the characters quickly and easily albeit through some questionable behaviour. And though they’re motivations are not very well explored it acceptable and moreover it’s their individual interactions with Chappie himself that makes this picture special. The CGI and character design is so well done on him I just accepted his as another performance. As the perpetual hard case he’s easy to root for from the start. Plus it’s got Sigourney Weaver and if nothing else it’s got Hugh Jackman sporting a mullet and tight-fitting safari gear.

Tiero: It’s a feast for the eyes if nothing else as we tootle around the slums and industrial quadrants of South Africa. Scantily clad, foul-mouthed men and women with guns who aren’t afraid to use them results in police shootouts, car chases, fire bombings, armed truck robberies, an infantile robot hilariously learning how to swear and use weapons (but not to kill, don’t you worry, just to help ‘sleep’) and general, lawless mayhem all capped by a satisfying robot battle. Back dropping it all is a solid soundtrack including, of course, Die Antwoord which for me was a good introduction to the band and if nothing else, gives them greater exposure which I think they deserve.