Artificial intelligence is something which is still up for debate in the real world. Yet, in the world of fiction, like the movies, this concept can be obtainable. This is proven to a bigger potential than with the recent movie “Chappie”. Director Neil Blomkamp proves once more that society has failed to overlook a simple idea, despite the dangers it might present us with. The movie is a good effort in providing action with robots, yet there are some problems that are fluctuated in the feature. “Chappie” offers something more towards artificial intelligence, and that is giving a robot a personality.
The story involves a future where the police force of Johannesburg, South Africa have enlisted the help of advanced robotics to take down the toughest criminals in the area. One day, one of these robots gets seriously injured, and is scheduled to be demolished, a scientist named Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) comes with the idea to use an artificial intelligence program to give it a personality. Unfortunately, Deon is captured by thugs who want to use the robot for criminal purposes. The program is a success, and the robot gets a name: Chappie (voiced by Sharlto Copley). Now, Chappie must discover the difference between right and wrong, as well as trying to avoid another scientist named Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) who wants to destroy him for personal gain.
“Chappie” is an interesting movie to watch. The cast is well-selected as they fit their characters very well. Sharlto Copley delivers a great performance as the robotic Chappie in one of of his more better roles. The rest of the cast will be discussed later on, but for now, let’s just say they do a good job with what they are given. With one exception, which we’ll get to later. The sound is definitely a treat for the ears as everything is mixed and edited to near perfection. This is especially true with the sounds of the robot voices; they sound so realistic, one almost forgets they were provided by actual humans. Neil Blomkamp does a good job at directing everything on set, and delivers some well-choreographed action set pieces. Speaking of which, the action scenes are handled very well, and they use slow motion to its advantage. The editing provided for the movie is good – with a run-time of two hours, one gets invested into what is going on.
However, that’s not to say that “Chappie” has flaws; they’re not problems, but they are flaws, nonetheless. For one thing, some of the actors deliver performances that are a bit over the top. Most notable is Jackman for portraying our villain, and the gang members as well. On the same topic, Sigourney Weaver is in this movie, and she’s barely in it; this can create a problem when you have a big-name celebrity, and they’re only featured in a small role. Finally, while the story is great as it provides an interesting social commentary on how robotics need to act like humans, it has been done before in other films like “Short Circuit” and “I, Robot”. But that doesn’t make the movie bad, in fact, “Chappie” is very enjoyable to watch. Just keep in mind that the story has been told before.
In conclusion, while “Chappie” may not be entirely original, it definitely offers some interesting science fiction, and a new look at where we might be headed in the future of artificial intelligence.