Neill Blomkamp, the director of District 9, brings us Chappie; the story of artificial intelligence going the extra mile in robots. The movie is set in a time period in South Africa where crime in Johannesburg continues to escalate and local police are running out of options. Along comes engineer Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), with a crazy idea about a police force suffering minimal losses via the usage of mechanized law enforcement. All seems well until Wilson finds the formula to give a robot the capability of thinking and feeling emotions like a human.
Wilson did this behind his boss, Michelle Bradley’s (Sigourney Weaver) back. What’s worse is when another more jealous coworker in Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) discovers him. We’re also introduced to South African talents Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser (who both starred in the comedy Umshini Wan).
This is Dev Patel’s best display in an action thriller. Lots of actors despise being typecast but in his case, he’s always a man of intelligence. Even with his accomplishment of creating a type of conscious for robots, that wasn’t enough. After he solved the formula he went as far as stealing a robot-body that was set to be destroyed to experiment with.
Chappie shows us what great lengths engineers/scientists go through for the sake of A.I. (artificial intelligence). Chappie had his own thoughts, feelings, and eventually even taught himself multiple subjects once he learned the internet. The best part about this movie is the ending. The ending was absolutely unexpected and took the audience for a turn that nobody saw coming. Normally in movies, you’ll come across a scene where you might think, “Thats not possible” or “pssh yeah right.” Well, in this film, those scenes happened except nobody laughed or even flinched. In their defense, if you’re watching a robot think on its own for the first time, what’s really there to disbelieve?
You can see some remnants of District 9 in here but it doesn’t take away from the film. I give Chappie a 9 out of 10. Its fun, action-packed, and forces you to take a hard look at where we could possibly be heading with A.I. It’s worth seeing opening weekend and runs about 2hrs long so it won’t be hard to sit through a night showing.