A software engineer who creates the first true artificial intelligence is kidnapped by a desperate street gang who wish to use his robotic invention as a means to rob an armoured car and pay off a ruthless criminal.
Chappie is essentially the love child of Robocop and Short Circuit 2; as unpromising a proposition that may sound, Neill Blomkamp’s third feature is not without its charms. The main problem with the film is its uneven tone; the humour revolving around Chappie’s pretensions to being a gangster is rather juvenile and some of the violence towards the end of the film is unnecessarily graphic, meaning that it is a little too adolescent for an adult audience and a little too gory for children. “Ninja” is also an overplayed stereotype seemingly having wandered onto set from District 13: Ultimatum and Hugh Jackman’s rival engineer crosses the line from cartoon villain to full blown psychopath by the end of the film. Thankfully the strengths outweigh these issues as Blomkamp’s direction is assured and Sharlto Copley’s relationship with Yo-Landi Vasser has some genuinely touching moments. The special effects are as impressive as they are seamless and while Chappie has no truly thought provoking message, it is what I would term as “proper” sci-fi.
Inventive, entertaining and despite its flaws, really rather enjoyable.