REVIEW: Want To Hate Hugh Jackman? Check Out CHAPPIE!

Take District 9, Short Circuit, RoboCop, A.I., a dash of WALL-E, throw them all together in a blender & end up with something along the lines of Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, where we see Hugh Jackman play a villain that will stop at nothing to destroy the lovable robot with feelings.

Reviews Opinion
A robot that learns to think and feel for itself? A huge mechanized robot called “The Moose” that looks like ED-209 on steroids? Hugh Jackman as a villain, including shorty shorts and a mullet? Chappie is a film that has a lot of things going for it – Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame, a thought provoking premise, a main character that manages to be more “human” than any other character in the film, comedy, action and my favorite, Hugh Jackman as the villain “Vincent Moore.” The bottom line is that if you are a fan of any of the above, you’re probably going to like Chappie.
Sharlto Copley does a wonderful job portraying the main character of the film, Chappie, even if we don't see his face, thanks to the gray suit hew wore for all of the motion capture, which was done on set with the rest of the cast, allowing them to interact with the future CGI robot. As Blomkamp put it, “… a police droid becomes sentient, and begins to display characteristics that are more moral, ethical, and conscientious than human beings tend to.” Chappie succeeds in making you care about this robot, even if he is VERY chatty at times, questioning anything and everything, but if you keep in mind that he is, in essence, a baby, it absolutely makes sense. I found myself laughing more than once not only at what he says, but what he does and how he reacts to things.

Hugh Jackman - Chappie
Hugh Jackman is an amazing villain. After seeing him as a hero in so many films, a villain was a nice change of pace. Jackman is absolutely brutal in the film, especially when he takes “The Moose” out for a stroll. “I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun playing a character as Vincent Moore,” says Jackman. “The best villains don’t think they’re villains. He brings a genuine argument to the table, and he’s convinced that what he’s doing is right and necessary. What makes him a villain is his inability to lose. That trumps everything and he becomes very destructive, very angry and vengeful.”

The film also succeeds in raising the question that we’ve seen before in other films such as A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Short Circuit and even 2001: A Space Odyssey – At what point would a robot be considered “human” or sentient. “The film raises questions – when would a robot be considered human?” asks Copley. “Is it because they can paint, or like a certain kind of music? For humans, it would probably be if the machine had feelings - if we were connecting with a machine in the way that we connect with people. I think that’s what would make most people call a machine ‘alive’ – if it experiences emotions in the same way as us.”

Ninja and Yo-Landi, from the rap-rave duo Die Antwoord, portray characters under their own names. While their initial scenes are a bit rough around the edges, they begin to find their groove later in the film, with Ninja having the stronger performance of the two. Ninja’s act of “tough love” is probably THE scene in the movie that will really make you care about Chappie.

As I mentioned at the outset - if you’re a fan of District 9, over-the-top and at times VERY brutal action and explosions, or want to see Hugh Jackman as a villain (or with a mullet and shorty shorts), you’ll like Chappie. The film has a hard time finding its footing half-way through as it tries to throw a LOT of things at you and not all of them stick... If you’re looking for perfect performances and a perfect plot, you’ll want to catch this during matinee hours, when it hits Blu-ray, or look elsewhere.

4 Star Review

From the director of District 9 and Elysium comes Chappie, starring Sharlto Copley (Maleficent, Elysium, District 9), Dev Patel (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Slumdog Millionaire), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Aliens, Avatar) and Hugh Jackman (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine, Les Misérables). In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force, but now the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind.
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