Get the Skinny on Chappie!


I have anticipated this movie for quite a while.
I was thinking, ok Blomkamp is making a modern Short Circuit, I liked Short Circuit, so why not? Well as visually similar and outwardly the same at first glance as this may seem, this ain’t no Short Circuit.

****spoilers ahead!*****
Chappie is a scout.
Moose is a military prototype that Hugh Jackman is working on, that instead of AI uses a human to control it.
Yolandi, Ninja, and America, well I am not sure what they are.

Scout 22 is sent on patrol after Yolandi, America, Ninja and another guy who is just screen fodder.
Ninja and company owe another gang leader some cash.

The other gang leader kills unknown guy in the van.

The new robot scouts are sent in and we have a three way battle. Scout 22 is shot with an RPG by the gang leader.
He is irreparably damaged, his battery is fused and when it expires so does he.

Deon, the lead designer of the scouts is working on an A.I. program, he completes the program and steals scout 22, or tries to.
You see Yolandi comes up with the brilliant plan of kidnapping Deon to make “remotes” to turn off all the police scouts.

So Deon is taken to the trio’s home and forced to make the robot work.
He installs the AI and Chappie is born.

The whole story, focuses on the development of Chappie.

There are some things I have issue with in this film.

I believe that since it is set in Johannesburg that Blomkamp is again trying to send a message just like he did with District 9.
I don’t have issue with his trying to tell a story about the people and lifestyle of the citizens of Johannesburg.
I do have an issue with the message that says that lifestyle is OK.

Chappie is thrust into a world where he must grow up.
America is like his favorite Uncle, Ninja is a the Dad who struggles with being a parent and trying to do what he needs to survive. Yolandi, a wonderful actress, is of course, Mommy.
Now Deon. the maker. perhaps he is like the Dad who gets custody visits.
The family does not like him around but put up with him because, you know, he is the kid’s “biological” father.

Deon wants to teach Chappie, well the same things I was taught as a kid. Don’t steal, don’t commit crimes, don’t kill or hurt anyone.
Ninja on the other hand just wants to use Chappie for a heist.
America is like an uncle and he succeeds where Ninja fails. He tricks Chappie into thinking that things like stabbing people are OK because it just puts them to sleep.
Yolandi takes Chappie and really is a caring tender mother to him. This just goes to show how warped this family is.

Then you have the evil corporate entity.
Michele, played wonderfully by Sigourney Weaver, is the CEO of the corporation, she is also a politician of sorts schmoozing the JPD trying to convince them to buy her product.
Jackman plays a designer Wilson Moore who wants to get his product made. A mech that looks a little familiar to Robocop fans.
In fact there are a couple similarities between Robocop and Chappie.
Jackman and Weaver both dismiss Deon, even though he is the creator.
Michele wants his scouts, Deon wants to develop his AI and Jackman is jealous of Deon’s success and also wants his AI.
So there you have your stereotypical evil corporate villains who only want to make money and have fame.

It is really difficult for me to look past the exterior of Ninja America and Yolandi.
Sure they are people too, especially Yolandi, but they ARE criminals.
Blomkamp tries to make it seem like they are forced into that lifestyle but I don’t buy into it.
He really glorifies what they do. Like it is ok and normal to sit and count narcotics. He even makes fun of it by having Yolandi say that maybe they should not do that in front of Chappie.

Chappie is very childlike, and naive.
Gullible. Chappie is treated poorly by Ninja, the abusive father. Loved by Yolandi whose maternal instincts kick in. America even takes an active role in Chappie’s upbringing.

The end is predictable and really does not have anything to do with..anything, other than ending this particular chapter.

What is really the crux of the movie is Chappie’s development into the uh..personality he becomes by the end of the film.
Humorous at times, extremely violent at other times, and thought provoking.

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