Two out of five kernels
In the movie universe there are good robots and there are bad robots. It’s too bad a good robot like Chappie didn’t get a better film.
It’s a classic origins story. Police robots are used to rid the city of crime. Then the ambitious scientist, in this case Deon (Dev Patel), creates a robot with a conscious named Chappie (voiced by Sharlto Copley).
But in this case another scientist/engineer/ex-military man, Vincent (Hugh Jackman), decides that Chappie needs to be destroyed (cue villainous laughter).
The story starts out simply enough but gets massively complex. People use and abuse Chappie to their own ends, which gums up the story. It simply doesn’t flow.
The poorly developed story means the characters’ motivations for doing what they’re doing aren’t strong, and rather confusing. In turn, this means the audience doesn’t care.
Where is the story leading? Good question. Don’t know, don’t care.
The plot indecisively switches from being Chappie’s story, to Deon’s scientific achievement, to Vincent’s revenge, to a social commentary on how messed up people are, to a philosophical debate on what is consciousness.
And as the story progresses the apathy grows. The only thing the audience cares for is Chappie, but it’s not enough to carry the film.
The characters are developed in the sense that we know who Chappie is, we know who Deon and Vincent are, but we don’t know the story. With so little to connect their stories together it’s impossible to focus.
And if you’re looking for a film that will have awesome fight scenes with robots, you’ll be severely disappointed.
However, if you ever wanted to see what would happen if ’80s fashion and hairstyles came back or if you ever wanted to see Jackman with a mullet, here’s your chance.
While “Chappie” has the characters, it doesn’t have much else. The story slowly descends from good, to bad, to worse. There are thousands of movies about robots — good, bad and sentient. I would suggest watching one of those.
Did you know “Big Hero 6” is out on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming?
Brewster may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 848-2238.