Chappie (15)

Directed by Neill Blomkamp
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 6th March 2015

Reviewed by Antonio Rubio

Undoubtedly Neill Blomkamp is a very talented filmmaker who is not scared of innovating and risking his reputation, at least in his last work.

Chappie is a production that can leave unalike feelings in the spectator. During a few occasions you might feel like leaving the cinema before the film finishes, as a childish tone is persistent during almost the whole tim, while the story launches some deeper questions like goodness and human condition.

Personally I had to make an effort to be carried along this strange combination, but if you accept the joke, the film can unusually work well.

The use of the camera is very discrete along the story together with the use of violence, which is regulated until the final battle. This controlled use of violence is as effective as uncommon in some other action movies, where we become already tired of guns, blood and dizzy camera effects before the movie finishes. Music by Hans Zimmer also helps to elevate the most dynamic moments.

Numerous elements taken from cyberpunk support the director’s intention of laughing at this genre and himself, but this joke is also a homage to his own style, as well as some cyber-classics (from Short Circuit to Robocop).

Because of Chappie’s protagonism, every human actor is secondary, and they don’t need to make a big effort in their dramatic interpretations because the simplistic tone of the film doesn’t need it.

Blomkamp relies again on actor Sharlto Copley (District 9), and chooses a few well-known Hollywood stars as secondary actors (Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver) to attract more audience to the pictures, or maybe just as another part of the joke.

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