Chappie:  An action packed Short Circuit reboot featuring Die Antwoord and robot porn.

Neill Blomkamp loves Sharlto Copley. I mean he fucking LOVES him. Ever since the duo broke serious ground with District 9, you can almost hear “When you're the Best of Friends” playing in the distance ever since. There's good reason for it as Sharlto acts as the salesman convincing the audience of the worlds that Neill builds. This next pitch is Chappie, a film about a child-like AI housed in police robot's body and raised by the bizarre duo of Die Antwoord. Does it sound like Short Circuit 3? Yes. Does it work? Mostly, yes.



The film takes place in Johannesburg in the near future where, in an attempt to decrease crime, the city has replaced most of the police force with robotic replacements. Yeah, I know it takes place in South Africa...again, but it makes a bit more sense here since Johannesburg is ten times worse than Detroit. Highlighting how shitty crime can get in the city is Ninja and Yolandi of Die Antwoord fame. They got a job botched and have to now get twenty million dollars in seven days to a guy with worse hair than they have. They come up with a plan to kidnap an engineer from the robotics company and turn the robot cops all off. It's so stupid that it comes around full circle to make sense. That engineer is Deon played by Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame who is on the verge of creating an emergent AI. Ninja and Yolandi kidnap Deon trying to get their magic remote when Deon has a counter offer of creating a sentient machine. Thus, Chappie is born a child-like being learning the world from people that love graffiti, drugs, and have a very strange conception of the word “cool”. Because having a stupid hair is a thing in this movie, Hugh Jackman rocking an ape drape plays the main villian obviously jealous of Dev's robotic progress with his giant mech project failing to take off the ground.

"Your hair is inappropriate for the workplace, Logan. Do we need to revisit HR?"

Lets talk about the elephant in the room with Die Antwoord. Their inclusion in the movie is both detracting and fascinating for different parts of the film. They are so fucking weird that their criminal nature rubbing off on Chappie actually fits. The problem comes from some odd choices from the directing like they were trying to fit in a music video somewhere. They've got nothing on Hugh Jackman though. Watching him prance around with that fucking hair and those stupid shorts is more hilarious than Ninja's oufits. The script works well enough, but seems like it needed more work towards the end. Something about it seemed off. There's a whole consciousness and how it relates to humanity theme that seemed glossed over a little too quickly. If you are back for more Blomkamp robot porn, you won't be disappointed. There are some really nice action scenes sprinkled through the film and the climatic Chappie vs. Giant Mech fight that you saw coming a mile away is nice.


Chappie has some problems, but it works. Even though everything in the film seems like it's trying to steal the thunder from Chappie, Sharlto does a great job selling it. The wonder and innocence it has are moving at times and remind you, in spite of the circus of ideas and actors surrounding the film, that the focal point is this child learning the world. Let me put it this way. Remember that movie A.I. where Haley Joel Osment was that kid robot, but was creepy as fuck and had wooden acting? Chappie is the opposite of that just with guns, mechs, and mullets.