I don’t see many movies in the theatre anymore, mostly because there hasn’t been much that’s piqued my interest lately. But this week was my husband’s birthday and he wanted to see Chappie. I agreed so long as I could have a large bag of popcorn and a big glass of cherry-vanilla Coke, thinking I’d have Hugh Jackman to console me.
I should have put up more of a fight. Though it features Jackman and Sigourney Weaver, Chappie is B-movie fodder at it’s mediocre-best.
In a future ripped from the pages of an Almost Human script, Chappie proposes that a few years from now the Johannesburg police force will consist totally of robot automatons. Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), the man responsible for inventing them, has finished an AI program for the robots in his spare time. He steals a robot marked for demolition to test his AI program, which is, in turn, stolen by a group of street thugs who name him Chappie, turn him into a gangsta, and convince him to commit crimes.
Jackman plays the villain in the piece, an ex-soldier, jealous that his destructive behemoth of a robot design lost out to Deon’s design for mass production, who manages to shut down the entire robot force with a virus for the sole purpose of killing people by proxy with the machine. His performance, like many of the others in this movie, is one-dimensional and disappointing.
Do not pay to see Chappie in the theatre. Watch the DVD of iRobot followed by the canon of Almost Human on Shomi instead. No amount of movie-style popcorn and Coca-Cola served from one of those fancy-shmancy machines is worth it.