2015-03-13 08:02

What it's about:

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: He’s a special, gifted prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: He is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. That's a dangerous idea—and it’s a challenge that will pit Chappie against powerful, destructive forces that would ensure that he is the last of his kind.

What we thought:

Let me start by putting all my cards on the table. I’m a big fan of Neill Blomkamp’s work and I love seeing people with South African roots succeed. It gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside when something proudly SA makes waves.

Before watching Chappie I deliberately stayed away from all reviews and articles surrounding the movie. I wanted to go in with no expectations and decide for myself whether it’s good or bad.

So here it goes. Chappie is not a good movie. It almost was. It could have been. But it isn’t. If this was Blomkamp’s first movie I would have given him a pat on the back and encouraged him to keep trying. But it isn’t his first movie and we’re used to seeing much better from him (aka District 9 and Elysium).

Something was off and at first I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s got all the Blomkamp-esque elements I love. The super realism sci-fi feel combined with the futuristic elements mixed up with a few robots. Plus as an extra bonus Die Antwoord takes a starring role. I mean that right there is a winning combo.

I’m sure that’s what the investors, movie studio and Blomkamp himself thought at first. But I suspect halfway through the project everyone must have surely noticed what the audience will quickly pick up on. Yo-Landi and Ninja are not actors. They’re badass rappers and look good in 2 minute music videos…but OMG was it a mistake to make them the leads in a 2 hour Hollywood blockbuster.

The florescent neon bubblegum duo is as out of place in Blomkamp’s dystopian Jozi as a Cape Town hipster would be at a rugby braai in Pretoria. Ninja’s Scar haircut and Yo-Landi’s plastic hairclips, like the zef duo themselves, had no place in this movie. It was a great idea that failed miserably.

I would have liked nothing more than to report the opposite. But alas. Die Antwoord ruined Chappie.

Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver shine when they get some airtime and for a few moments the movie seems like it might actually pull a rabbit from a hat. That’s until we are thrown back into Die Antwoord’s super kitch apocalyptic chic loft where Chappie (Sharlto Copley) is learning to become a “numba one gangsta”.

If this movie taught us anything it is that you should rather kill your darlings than to give them starring roles in your big blockbuster.

(I don’t even want to talk about Brandon Auret’s Hippo character…WTF was up with that accent bru?)

Read more on:    ninja  |  sharlto copley  |  movies  |  chappie

Anthony 2015/03/13 15:24
Ah man, that's such a pity! I'll still watch it to form my own opinion of course, but I'm disappointed in this review.
Irene 2015/03/16 11:06
This review is pretty harsh - as was the case with the review on Fury. I loved this movie and I really don't think two stars is fair. I liked what the movie had to say, and I liked Chappie's character. It was pretty funny too, surprised that you don't mention that in your review. Sure, Ninja isn't the world's best actor, but Yolandi wasnt bad and I liked them being in the movie. Lighten up a bit, not every movie is supposed to win an Oscar.
Luke 2015/03/16 11:52
I really enjoyed this movie. I thought Die Antword (Hardly leading roles) were really well integrated into the film and if anything, they made the movie fun. To me, seems like this reviewer went in with a certain expectation for this film, which sadly for him/her were not met. In fact, there seems to be a trend lately amongst 'film critics' that if something is slightly different then it gets dismissed as terrible. I think that's a sad perspective on things, Blomkamp should be applauded for trying something new. Having a gripe with the Die Antword isn't enough to give this film a poor score.
Willie 2015/03/16 12:52
Excellent!!! A must see! You will be shocked. You will laugh. You will weep a tear. Your attention will be captured from the beginning. Excellent performances by "ALL" You will walk out the movie and say wow, that was unexpected and totally worth while. The review - by Herman Eloff, sorry boet you don't have a clue. Please refrain from ever going public your review rating 0/5
Irene 2015/03/17 09:38
Glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't agree with the review! Hope more people see the movie.
HP 2015/03/17 11:53
I also liked this movie, quite more than District 9. I would say at least 3 stars. Some good action scenes and bid funny too.
Evert van Staaden 2015/03/20 15:53
I think I'll avoid this one and just re-watch Short Circuit instead.
Dehan Smit 2015/03/22 11:49
I personally think that the reviewer just dislikes Die Antwoord. The way you use 'OMG' and 'WTF' in a review is really unprofessional. I felt it was a brilliant movie. For the more 'upperclass' Afrikaner, I suppose the swearing could be a turn off, but if you listen to how gangsters talk in the street, it's pretty accurate. The acting was jaw dropping, and the story line is brilliant, not mentioning you felt the emotion, especially towards the end. tl;dr: The reviewer went in knowing he dislikes Die Antwoord, and writes a review where he breaks them down. Review rating 2/10. Movie rating 9/10.
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