In an increasingly lawless Johannesburgh armed police are assisted by gun toting remotely operated robots provided by Tetravaal. The developer of the robot’s operating system is working on the development of artificial intelligence, and when a damaged robot is scheduled for crushing he decides to make it self aware. While putting his plan into effect he is kidnapped by a gang who are planning a heist and who wish to use a robot as part of their scheme. When the damaged robot is repaired and activated they train it to help with their criminal activities and call it Chappie. Meanwhile back in Tetravaal even more sinister schemes are afoot.
The robots are seen at work in firefights with the criminal gangs, the scientists work in the offices of Tetravaal and robots are assembled and repaired in their workshops. The major criminals confront the minor ones who decide to carry out the heist, they capture Chappie and take him to their hide-out in a derelict factory and train him to help them in their “work”. The scientist is motivated to help them by his enthusiasm for the project. The evil developer back in Tetravaal schemes to encourage the authorities a allow the activation of his super robot.
There are a number of firefights mostly with automatic weapons, some other violence, no nudity (except on TV), sex or drug taking.
This film was not much liked by the critics although in the end it probably covered its costs, but not successfully enough to trigger planned sequels. It seemed to me that the motivations of many of the characters, including the robot, were confused, so maybe they were making it up as they went along, and the gang of minor criminals seemed odd. I found out afterwards that they were a South African rap group and honestly, I prefer actors to other performers. But despite the poor critical response it is not bad and if you are interested in films featuring AI it is probably worth a watch.
|Duration||2h 0m||Rating (UK)||15|
|Source of story||An original screenplay, but at times you can see the connection to District 9.|
|Writers/Script||Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell|
|Starring||Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver|
|Additional Info||I accidentally found a page of the development of the Chappie designs, it is fascinating – link included here. Chappie Artwork|