In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. 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.
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy, a loving husband, father and good cop, is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
In Johannesburg, the police department reduced the high rating of criminality using robots from the Tetravaal Company, designed by the engineer Deon Wilson. The former military Vincent Moore is envious of Deon, since he has developed another project called Moose, but neither Tetravaal nor the police department is interested. Deon has just developed an Artificial Intelligence but the Tetravaal's CEO Michelle Bradley asks him to abort the project. Deon decides to bring the damaged Robot 22 that was sent to be crushed to test his A.I. However he is kidnapped by the criminals Ninja, Yo-Landi and Amerika that want him to stop the robot cops. When they see the damaged robot in the van, they force Deon to program it to heist banks with them and they call it Chappie. However, Chappie acts like a child and need to be trained to learn and grow. Meanwhile Vincent follows Deon and plots an evil scheme to activate his robot.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sony edited the Japanese version of the film to PG-12, the Japanese equivalent to a PG-13 rating, and has refused to release an uncut version in Japan. While Sony claims Neill Blomkamp approved the edits, Blomkamp himself says he'd never heard about them until Japanese fans began asking him questions about it. See more »
When Hippo shoots Pitbull in the chest, you can clearly see mud on the white fur lining of the hood of Pitbull's orange jumper from previous takes where he's laid down after being shot. See more »
Historically, when we look at evolution, it's not surprising that uh... Chappie's left turn... uh... happened.
It's too early to tell how this is all going to play out. I didn't believe that this would happen in my lifetime, but... but it is happening.
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In the closing credits appears "Be Moved" in large font. See more »
In an alternate ending, Chappie has an army in downtown then ends the footage of William Roberts. See more »
Neill Blomkamp might be one of the most fascinating storytellers in blockbuster filmmaking today. His Sci-Fi stories are basically an allegory of the third world culture. Chappie now tackles the subject of being raised in a troubling environment. The movie becomes real engaging when it sticks to that mode, but the same problem of the director stays, as his enthusiasm of blockbuster filmmaking makes its important theme seem lost. It's not bad adding some explosions, except the major conflict of the plot bogs down its potential, turning it into a generic action film and also has a dumb climax with an ending that hardly makes sense. It should have been straightforward with its social analogy, because there the movie becomes really gripping.
There's actually two stories involved in Chappie: one is how humans fear the artificial intelligence and how it would affect to the future of their society; the other is a robot who has to choose whether he is going to choose two paths: the wish of his maker or the life of an urban thug. The second story is much fascinating, Chappie is often described as a child who is still learning how the world works. The film makes some compelling points on how the robot influences from the reality; the good and the bad. But the film keeps getting hindered by blockbuster elements with a generic arrogant corporal villains, and of course, giant robots and bigger guns. The explosions are fine, but the ideas towards that side hardly felt like it belongs there, or at least helped improving the storyline. It might have first thought that it would make it more thrilling or entertaining, but the gangster side felt more natural at this concept, probably leading to a much powerful experience in the end.
But when the third act comes, it keeps sprinkling more ideas that makes its core even more complicated. The movie is more intriguing when it keeps things smaller and slow, putting aside those bombastic battles and political conflict. The acting is alright. Sharlto Copley is in motion capture as Chappie and he brings a palpable full of energy, he decently captures the robot's growth in his environment, he may not be given a full character, but the performance keeps the character shine anyway. Dev Patel obviously does well as the film's serious heart of this weird world. Ninja and Yolandi plays the fictional version of themselves, which feels pretty self-indulgent, but does fine to the picture anyway, in spite of still wearing the merch of their Die Antwoord and the movie they are in. The best talents ended up playing the most unnecessary villains; with Hugh Jackman goes over-the-top as the villain who you'd love to hate (a lot like Stephen Lang in Avatar) while Sigourney Weaver is underused in a role that actually doesn't do much to the story.
It seems like Chappie fears that it won't fit in today's realm of loud blockbusters, it's definitely not bold enough to be honest with itself, which is a shame. Blomkamp comes up with these interesting stories, but unable to fully comprehend with its actual message or something else. There is still a talk about the consequence of having artificial intelligence walking among us, but the movie is more powerful when it stays at its allegorical roots, getting to know the dark side of the streets and growing up in a violent world of crime, while struggle with fragile moral dilemmas, but as a blockbuster, it demands more explosions and clashing CGI effects. It's less interesting at that point. Chappie deserves more tweaks, I want Chappie to be better than that.
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