Chappie (2015)

For all of you sci-fi fans out there, here is Chappie.

Computer genius Deon creates the scouts, robotic police officers that are just as efficient as Robocop – and you don’t even need to blow anyone up to make them!

Chappie is set in South Africa, from which District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is from. And that’s also where the similarities to District 9 begin.

As I watched the first couple of minutes I already knew this was going to be interesting. Then we see what the scouts are capable of in a massive gun fight – CGI has gotten way too good!

But the big dream for Deon is of course to create true artificial intelligence which, being the genius he is, he does.

Films about AI seem to be ‘hot’ at the moment.

The private weapons company he works for, headed up be Sigourney Weaver’s Michelle Bradley, doesn’t let him test it on a real robot so he steals one. Progress never liked red tape anyway.

Unfortunately, a band of criminals knows he’s pretty smart and decide to kidnap him. He convinces them to let him upload his AI to the robot and so Chappie is born – metaphorically!

Lighthearted, funny and natural, the band of criminals take it upon themselves to teach Chappie the ways of the world in the most unconventional ways. You could say in some ways this is a gritty coming of age film.

But the film also touches on the complex issue of what makes us ‘us’.

There is a lot to be said about human behaviour in this film. Why do humans do evil? And as Chappie learns and grows this question becomes more prevalent as he sees the real world for what it is.

I have to say this was a refreshing take on something I’m still on the fence about – whether AI is ultimately a good or bad thing.

I still think Blomkamp hasn’t really stretched himself beyond the rough streets of South Africa so I’d like to see what else he can do.

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