Monday, 16 March 2015


Rating: ●●●●○

Certification: Violence, Language

 Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller and if you’re South African: Comedy

Stars: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Running time: 120 min


Synopsis: 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.

Review: The concept of artificial intelligence isn’t a new one. Neither is the idea of downloading your thoughts and memories into a computer/robot and living forever as a machine. I heard Ross talk about it in Season 6 of Friends and just the other day Dr. Daniel Pierce explored the concept in Perception. It has been used in many sci-fi films and now it’s the theme of South African director Neill Blomkamp’s latest movie.

I want to start off by saying the bad ratings this film is getting online is totally unjustified. This movie was really interesting and the CGI was fantastic. I must admit the trailer is very deceiving (what is up with that nowadays?). It portrays the movie to be a full on action, violent, warlike film which isn’t my cup of tea. I sort of dragged myself to watch it because I am South African and felt patriotic.

I’m so glad I did! The story is set in the not-so-distant future where police robots successfully serve and protect the city of Johannesburg. The engineer who designed these robots, aspires to create a model that can think for itself, but he's barred from doing so by his chilly boss. He creates the robot anyway and thus our lead character Chappie is born. Most of the film is about Chappie’s journey and transformation from child to killing machine. There are some gory action scenes towards the end but otherwise the movie is pretty tame.

Some reviewers claim you don’t feel any emotional attachment to Chappie but I certainly did. There’s a scene with him and a few rogue kids that made me want to cry. By the way, I thought comedian Riaad Moosa voiced the Chappie character but it’s actually Sharlto Copley.

It’s a serious movie with a bit of easy humour and I found myself laughing a lot. To be totally honest I laughed at the accents and some of the bad acting (Hello Brandon Auret) more than the actual jokes. It might have annoyed other movie goers but it made it enjoyable for me! All in all the film is seamlessly executed. Ignore the other ratings and give it a go!

Side Note: The only criticism I have is the director and writers had a chance to shed light on the violent and terrifying crime in South Africa and perhaps start a movement against it. I don’t want to emphasise the negative aspects of my country, but this is a matter close to my heart. Our beautiful city of Johannesburg is becoming a metropolis of horror and the government are doing zilch about it. They benefit from crime and corruption, so turn a blind eye to it, whilst our thriving town withers away. The way lawbreakers and felons are portrayed in the movie is almost a joke. The kind and dim-witted villains are nothing like the heartless, shameless, impudent, aggressive, extreme criminals we face in reality. We are a happy, friendly, flourishing nation but we live in constant fear for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We imprison ourselves in our homes and offices, always armed and always aware. Children don’t play in the streets or the parks like we used to when we were younger. We don’t even realise how much we have adapted our lifestyles to be safe and how much of our freedom we have given up. It’s not fair. It’s not right. I wish Neill took this unique opportunity to make the world aware of the new version of apartheid that we are suffering.


♡, Sana xx

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