Dave’s 3-Word Review:
District 9: Robots
Say what you will about Neil Blomkamp, but I’ve always really enjoyed his material. They might not be perfect in every which way, but they were always entertaining on one level, and infinitely important on a much deeper level – and the way he went about presenting these problems was usually really visually stunning and brilliantly laid out. Chappie finishes a spiritual trilogy in overall tones and concepts. Even though Blomkamp has said this is the only one without political undertones, it does have equally important, if not subtle morals strewn about.
Chappie stars, once again, Sharlto Copley in the lead – the first artificial intelligent robot in a futurist world filled with a robotic police force. Dev Patel plays Deon Wilson – the “creator” of artificial intelligence – and once Chappie is introduced to the new world, he acts like a child. Everything he learns is taught to him. When a group of thugs get a hold of him, they want to use him for their own criminal agenda, but Deon continually attempts to keep Chappie innocent and staying away from crime.
Interestingly enough, this film has a lot of comedic elements to it, mostly because it’s hilarious to see a robot act so much like a human while every other robot in the movie is just that – a robot. More than that though, there is a lot of elements in the film that are important when it comes to child neglect, abandonment, and abuse. If you ignore all the comedic parts and the thug storylines, you have Chappie, who is in essence, a mere child. The things they put him through would shock anyone if the character was a human boy – and things like that do happen.
It does have a pretty colossal flaw though, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why this was…but the villains in this movie are stupid. I mean it. The entire foundation of the plot has to do with the thugs wanting to kidnap Deon because they want a universal remote control that can turn of the police robots. Yeah. A remote control. Then, for random reasons, Hugh Jackman is in the mix doing questionable things as well because he wants the robot he created to be taken seriously. I get that, but I still couldn’t buy his character – maybe it was the short shorts.
All in all, I can easily say that I did enjoy the movie. I don’t know if it’s up to par with the other two movies, but it does have interesting elements that still make it feel unique and perfect for Blomkamp’s world. EVEN THOUGH it does take place in Johannesburg again.
Chappie is a pretty interesting movie that displays certain thoughts towards mistreatment of children, but keeps everything light-hearted as well – as it has some pretty funny parts.
The villains. Every last villain in this movie is just dumb…like henchmen in Disney cartoons.