Monday, March 9, 2015

Movie News: Chappie

The film "Chappie" opened this weekend with less than stellar reception. With a rotten tomatoes score of around 30% the movie seems like a real turnoff when oscar winning movies such as "The Imitation Game" and "Still Alice" are still playing in theaters. Despite the numbers and the apparent dislike towards the film, I rather enjoyed it. The movie opens up in a less than original way, with interviews of people commentating on what defines AI and consciousness, and then transitions into a mix of news stories about the advance robots that have become integral in the police force. After this we see the standard gangsters with standard gangster problems, and movie takes off from there. There is a strangely beautiful mix between the gangsters and the world, and it is extremely difficult to describe exactly what the characters are like unless you've seen them in action. At first glance it seems like the tone of the whole thing is thrown off by the sheer craziness of the main cast of gangsters. On closer inspection however, it is easy to see a what a masterful job the director does at setting the tone, and the characters that seemed like stupid gang bangers in the beginning start to grow on you as it becomes clear that they aren't as cold and heartless as they once appearer. It brings to light that these characters are victims of their own situation, doing what they have to do to survive, and that underneath it they have things that they care about too. The film gives us a small glimpse into the human existence and what really defines as us human. Now having said that don't go into the film expecting some super metaphysical film, but rather about a robot with a consciousness that was raised by gangsters to be thug as sh*t. Overall this movie was either entirely intentional or just an accidental mash of all of the things, either way it left enough of a lasting impression to make me write this review at 1 AM on a Monday. Oh yeah and Hugh Jackman is in it, and he's the bad guy, and he's super sneaky in his cargo shorts, super sneaky. You'll get it once you watch the movie.

1 comment:

Nick Kromelow said...

I also saw Chappie this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The film is fantastic. However, even on opening night, my friends and I were pretty much the only people in the theater, which was weird. The way the film talked about humanity and consciousness was very interesting. As with all of Blomkamp's films, the mechanical design was outstanding. I think that rather than just being victims of circumstance, the gangsters were villains at times, especially in regards to treatment of Chappie and Deon. In addition, it seemed that the characters' position was fitting for their intelligence. From watching Blomkamp's other films, District 9 and Elysium, I doubt he's fond of the poor, unintelligent, gangbanger-type of person. Vincent was an amazing character, I thought that his "tactical shooting instructor" outfit was hilarious, and his project being very Metal Gear-esque was also pretty amusing.

Blomkamp is certainly an underrated director. I attribute the less than stellar reception of this film to poor consumer taste for quality movies. With Fast and Furious 7 on its way, I think the average American consumer may just be part of the 'lowest common denominator' that most movies and video games target these days. I doubt that our media will get much better, unfortunately. Most people won't stop consuming low quality or lazy media, because they don't have anything better/else to do.