Chappie, with Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Ninja, Signorney Weaver, Yo-Landi Visser & Jose Pablo Cantillo. Director, Neill Blomkamp. This is my favorite sub-genre of science fiction: robot rights. Though the story wasn’t exactly about the rights of sentience, it was close enough & it was indeed an excellent example. Though not to the point that I teared up.
Copley was spot on as a robot police operative in Johannesburg, who achieves self-awareness within his artificial intelligence & is born again as a thinking person. I can’t say enough about Copley, who has to be one of the most interesting character actors in the business. His aptitude for becoming his role is superb & he’s always, always believable.
The film is set in a near future Johannesburg, South Africa that is saturated with violence & crime. Virtual special effects, in this movie, are focused in the robots which really does give more than a bit of realism. A little bit, going a lot way in the visual. Slight of hand & all that. The back alley, decrepit locations are enough to indicate the underworld of crime & poverty; to the point that it’s almost intolerable. However; this is the story & it’s not about penthouse apartments with people & things that are upset with trivia.
Jackman’s supporting role as a the villain is well-done, but one notes he’s much more suited to roles when he’s wearing his hero hat. He’s not the lead, but recognizable. Standing out as a distraction as much as Weaver does as a supporting character.
I recommend the film. It’s very local South African which takes the viewer out of his box & into issues which are slightly different than what is familiar & a quick search indicates that Copley is indeed South African. Did he do right, by his homeland. I think so.