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Review: Chappie – “A stoner robot sequel to Spring Breakers”


I detested Chappie. Absolutely loathed it. So much so that as big a major cinephile as I think I am (easily as big as Michael Bolton), I’ve been telling people not to see it. I didn’t even do that for Bad Boys 2 or Transformers 4.

The thing is, I’ve got as wrapped up in the Alien 5 news as everyone else. So much so that I went in thinking when, not if, I was going to be a weeping wreck. The trailer had me. I showed my boy (7) and he saw immediately it was an E.T for the twenty first Century. More exploding bodies and tech, sure. But a robot/alien. With feelings. Mis-treated by humanity until he learns the way of the Ninja and takes on Wolverine in a giant power loader.

It doesn’t play out like at all.

At. All.

Spoilers ahead.

Instead, Blomkamp is intent on making a stoner robot sequel to Spring Breakers.

All garish colours and cool design. I hated Spring Breakers too, by the way. And that had James Franco and Britney Spears, FFS.

Chappie has neither of those things.

It has Hugh Jackman genuinely believing he’s in a different film – and as the editing is so hashed together I’d forgive him for thinking it.

It’s all just so ludicrous in terms of Blomkamp’s arrogance. That he thinks he can create a world like that for a major film. I keep getting told it’s not that expensive. I don’t care.

I actually liked Elysium (if that’s a 6/10 for most, this is a 3/10).

But Blomkamp has no right making this off the back of Elysium. Off the back of District 9 when he had us in the palm of his hands? Maybe. But after the panning of Elysium, no way. Play it safe. Keep it cool.

Instead he thinks he’s out Millering Miller making his very own Mad Max. It’s outrageous.

Slow motion shots of terrible actors – even giving them slow motion deaths? No, no, no.

Willem Defoe had to wade through half a career to get one of those. In a worthy film. At. Worthy point in the story.

Chappie crying out for Mommy and Daddy is embarrassing. There’s no connection at all. And the fact there was more of a connection in the trailer is frankly troubling.

If Blomkamp had chopped the order up and got us to like Chappie before he became GANGSTA NUMBER ONE (I’m not kidding), maybe I’d be brought in.

Instead he gets his gold chains before Dev Patel even realises what he’s signed up for. Spray painted – no in cool camo – but in pinks and blues. Is this seriously the guy that did the Halo teaser? He’s seemingly disappeared up his own ass – and only Hicks can save him. Possibly Ripley – but damn, she got old.

It’s a travesty.

Don’t get me started on the score. As more and more people start to understand John Carpenter was doing it right, (’71!),Blomkamp gives us metal and bass. The opening shoot out is an assault – and offence – on the senses. It’s a bigger muddle than the market shoot out in Hannibal, which again, I liked.

There’s nothing likeable about Chappie at all. And any film that involves transferring consciousness – let alone via ten PS4s – should be killed at birth.

As the biggest Alien fan out there, I’m nervous.

Blomkamp has an eye for design, but he absolutely can’t be let near a pencil. Or pen. Or computer. I’d rather Fincher writes it.

Dial me down from an 11/10 for Alien 5, to a 6/10.

And I know that might not be a bad idea, but if Blomkamp manages to eff up a power loader that flies, we should all be very, very concerned.



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