Robocop goes 'gangsta'
Village Jam Factory, 12/03 6:40pm
Running time: 120m
Country: South Africa
Classification: MA15+ (Strong violence and coarse language)
Release date: 12/03/15
Cost: $11.50 (Village vouchers)
Rating: 5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 2.5/5)
Set in South Africa in 2016, the local police force have had their numbers boosted by a fleet of robot police in Chappie. Along with designing the robots, smart as a dunny rat* engineer Deon (Dev Patel) tinkers in his spare time in an effort to create a robot with artificial intelligence. When he eventually succeeds, Chappie (Sharlto Copley) is 'born' straight into the hands of a group of gangsters (Yolandi Visser, Ninja and Jose Pablo Cantillo) who decide an intelligent robot is the ultimate tool in pulling off a heist to pay back mad as a frog in a sock* gangster Hippo (Brandon Auret). Chappie is just a little joey*, learning like a child from those around him and discovering the best and worst of humanity along the way. Meanwhile, despite funding cuts from company head Michelle (Sigourney Weaver), former soldier Vincent (Hugh Jackman) has designed a bigger and badder military robot, Moose. Things go tits up* when the lines between good and bad are blurred and the film leads towards its explosive conclusion.
Chappie doesn't set out to be cinematic greatness, but if the intention was tell an interesting and entertaining story it succeeded admirably. The script is clunky and some of the performance are patchy, but it's an enjoyable roller-coaster. Amidst the violence and gore there are some very touching moments as Chappie learns from his 'parents'. Hugh Jackman gets some shockingly corny lines and we weren't the only ones in the cinema groaning, but it just added to the enjoyment. There's a lovely nod to the music video for Björk's All is Full of Love in the film's final scenes. The special effects work well and there are enough explosions and loud noises to appeal to the fans of action adventure films. Enjoyable. (ME)
* - Actual Hugh Jackman lines from the script. Seriously.