Connect with us

Movie Reviews




MV5BMTUyNTI4NTIwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQ4MTI0NDE@._V1__SX1217_SY603_Released: 2015

Directed By: Neill Blomkamp

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel

Certificate: 15

Neill Blomkamp, he’s a big name now in Hollywood. Thanks to the successes of  District 9 and Elysium and his incredible love for the Alien franchise, Blomkamp has been on everyone’s lips, especially since he is now directing the fifth Alien. Before all that though comes CHAPPiE, Neil Blomkamp’s attempt at what I describe as Pinocchio in a digital age, will he succeed or will he fail?

CHAPPiE opens up with a kind of trope of a Blomkamp movie and that is a news reports about the destruction of humanity. Once again Blomkamp centres his movies around Johannesburg and through news reports we learn that South African police forces are completely overwhelmed by the incredible crime in the city. Due to this, a new police force is created, a robot police force, a robocop police force if you will. Created by Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) the CHAPPiE’s as they are called are the perfect police force. They’re almost indestructible, they never need to sleep or eat and they can’t be hacked so what could possibly go wrong? As usual it’s that pesky issue, human error.

I won’t go further into CHAPPiE’s plot as I found the most interesting element of CHAPPiE was not knowing where the story was going to take me. The second most interesting and fun element of CHAPPiE  was CHAPPiE himself. Played to perfection by Blomkamp alum Sharlto Copley, who gives an incredibly vulnerable and real performance similar to any Andy Serkis performance. You watch CHAPPiE grow through the two hours of the movie, he’s a fully fleshed character, complete with quirks and problems. He’s sadly surrounded by a myriad of great actors giving okay performances. Patel is incredibly preachy, Hugh Jackman’s character Vincent is your usual bully baddie who has no redeeming characteristics and then there’s Sigourney Weaver who makes her extended sci-fi cameo which adds nothing of real substance to CHAPPiE. Now there are some character highlights, Watkin Tudor Jones and Yolandi Visser play CHAPPiE’s “parents” Ninja and Yolandi, they’re great fun and are a surprisingly great duo.

The cinematography and soundtrack is great, Blomkamp adds his usual flare to CHAPPiE, giving us some truly stunning shots of Johannesburg and the surrounding areas. Not only this, but the soundtrack is a digital treat, helped by Hans Zimmer (surprise, surprise), who gives it that added shock and awe. Then there is the music provided by Die Antwood (Watkin Tudor Jones and Yolandi Visser’s band) which adds a uniquely playful element to CHAPPiE. There are some fantastic action set pieces, especially the final twenty minutes which plays out like the Robocop climax on steroids. Now even though I said the action scenes are incredible, how they’re set up is predictable . You see Vincent’s “Moose” and you know what’s going to happen, CHAPPiE is left to fend for himself and you know what he’ll learn from his experience. There are just some elements of the plot that scream, “done before!”

All this being said, CHAPPiE did bring me to tears at times. It has a compelling lead and some fantastic action scenes, bolstered by some stellar cinematography and pumping music. If only the rest of the cast could keep up with Copley and help this not so original story become something even better. There are no strings holding CHAPPiE down, just some one note performances and a slightly unoriginal story.

Just For You