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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and brief nudity.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Sci-Fi Action Thriller IMAX
2 hr.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 6, 2015 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: June 16,2015
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

artificial intelligence

What is the soul and the spirit?

Can humans create a soul for a robot?

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

role of robots in our world and future

issues involved in using robots to police the human world

using robots for criminal purposes

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Featuring: Hugh JackmanVincent Moore
Sigourney WeaverMichelle Bradley
Sharlto Copley … Chappie (motion capture performer)
Dev Patel … Deon
Miranda Frigon … Psychologist
Jose Pablo Cantillo … Yankie
Yo-Landi Visser … Visser
Robert Hobbs … The Procurement Officer
more »
Director: Neill Blomkamp—“District 9,” “Elysium,” “Stargate SG-1”
Producer: Alpha Core
Columbia Pictures
more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

The police of Johannesburg, South Africa have never been safer thanks to their robot scouts. Heavily armored and equipped with a variety of munitions, the scouts take point while police stay to the rear, and it is during one of these police actions that robot scout 22 takes heavy damage. Scheduled for demolition, his creator, lead Tetravaal robotics designer Deon Wilson (Dev Patel—“Slumdog Millionaire”) has other plans. Deon has just designed what he hopes to be the world’s first true artificial intelligence (AI), and he intends to use it to bring 22 to “life.”

Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) is a competing robotics designer at Tetravaal, but with Deon’s continued success, Vincent’s budget for the much larger, bulkier robots have consequently been cut every year by company CEO Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver).

A small band of narcotics dealers led by Ninja and Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser) kidnap Deon to get his help in dealing with the scouts. Wanting to save his own life, Deon is forced to carry out his AI experiment on the damaged scout while in the gang’s hideout, and soon Chappie is born.

Deon wants only to nurture Chappie and help him develop into a reflection of himself—a kind, non-violent, moral person. Ninja is grooming Chappie to be the gang’s lead strike weapon in order to pull off several major crimes. Meanwhile, Vincent knows the only way to get his robot division off the ground is to take out all the scouts, and that includes Chappie. As with Director Neill Blomkamp’s other South African based film, “District 9,” there is a great deal of inappropriate content.

Objectionable Content

Violence: Extreme. Threatening situations and violence are present throughout. There is gang warfare, guns are used plenty of times, and one is put inside someone’s mouth, many are shot by small and large weapons, others are cut, stabbed, crushed or die in explosions. Blood is seen sporadically, especially when one person is torn in half. A man is beaten into a bloody pulp. Chappie is also threatened with fire and rocks and has a limb cut off. The “R” rating should be taken seriously.

Language: Heavy to extreme. Due to the South African accent the following are approximates and represent the minimum number of times curses were identified; F-word 38 times, with more than a few with “mother” added, “sh**” (20+), a** (1), “bit** (3), “hell” (5), and “damn” (2). The Lord’s name (Jesus and God) are taken in vain 17 times. Other euphemisms for both male and female genitalia were heard, and Yolandi wears a shirt featuring one of them. The f-word and various other curses are seen on various walls, as well as heard throughout the end credits in song, which were not counted in the above tally.

Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy. Yolandi’s regular clothes are short shorts and tight tops. She is seen in bed with Ninja, but they are both fast asleep and nothing else is shown. Oddly, the only sex found is in a brief scene when Ninja goes to purchase some arms in an apartment building and when he enters the dealer’s apartment they are watching pornography on TV and a nude woman is seen for a few seconds. Obscene words are shown in graffiti and on a woman’s shirt.


Finding virtue among any of the characters, aside from Deon, is a challenge, as there is almost nothing admirable about them. Are there signs of friendship or camaraderie to be found? Yes. While it is true that the girl of the group, Yolandi, becomes protective of Chappie, practically assuming the role of his mother, and that even Ninja ends up caring for him, does that merit any special commendation? The Word of God would say no. In fact, if we are to call ourselves God’s children, then we are expected to do much, much more.

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” —Luke 6:32

Perhaps the only thought-provoking discussion came from Chappie about his creator Deon. Realizing that he has a limited time on Earth, he asks aloud why his maker would put him in a broken body [only] to die? This is a question asked by people everywhere, and again the truth can only be found in God’s Word.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” —Romans 5:12

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

The movie fails on many levels including: overall lackluster acting, a poor script rife with inconsistencies, the birth of artificial intelligence that comes across more like fantasy fiction than science, undeveloped characters no one would care about and an unbelievable ‘feel good’ ending no amount of ‘suspension of disbelief’ could overcome.

While Chappie appears to have the honest ‘desire’ to follow in his creator’s footsteps, the gang takes advantage of his childlike innocence and tricks him into committing crimes and even hurting others along the way. Despite the interesting premise featured during misleading trailers, I found “Chappie” to be an almost joyless, not to mention vulgar, skewed interpretation of Pinocchio and recommend this be avoided at all costs.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Heavy to extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—The movie was amazing. The CGI was top notch, even better then it was in the past two movies (“District 9” and “Elysium”). You tend to forget you’re seeing robots that aren’t even on screen. The story, I thought, was very well thought out and had many twists. I’d see it again, for sure. Although, I will say if you found the accents in “District 9” hard to understand, you will have a much harder time now, because the accents are very thick. Most people seemed to be asking “What did that person say?!?”

With that said, let me talk about the movie from a Christian perspective and what you will be offended by. In terms of violence, there are people that get killed. But compared to the other two movies, the blood is really minimal. Mostly bullet holes in people. Except for one scene that I would say is gory, because a man gets cut in half and his upper half thrown against a wall. It happens quick, but it’s still see-able. Language-wise, the movie has a lot of swearing. ALOT. This ties in with the sexuality, because, while you don’t see any sex or nudity, the one girl is often dressed in small outfits. One of which talks about her “chest” (using a crude term for nipples). So I count that as an offense really, like swearing. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Matt S, age 33 (USA)
Positive— When you take the time to watch “Chappie,” and you should, you’ll soon realize this isn’t a typical “robot” action movie. The acting, overall, is okay/10, and it feels as if the Director wanted more action, more explosions, and more gold plated AK’s shooting around than was needed; some action sequences felt out of place, boring and sometimes pulled away from the very good plot. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ron, age 25 (Canada)
Neutral—This is a potentially intriguing film of the man-creates-human-robot genre. It loses its way wanting too much shoot em up action, with a somewhat out there plot twist, where a rival computer engineer creates a bigger and more violent robot for a big CGI shoot em up. The main plot creates a battle for the soul of the intelligent robot Chappie, as he comes of age, with his creator Dev Patel up against a dysfunctional family of criminals (played by rappers Ninja and Yolandi, who reviewers say are playing their rap personas) who love, use, abuse and socialize him into a somewhat ridiculous gangsta culture, with Patel having a role similar to those played by the priests in 30s era Cagney gangster movies.

South Africa’s stark mix of affluence and poverty is again depicted by director Blomkamp, as it was in his earlier hit “District 9,” and the corporate machinations of the military industrial complex are well portrayed with Sigourney Weaver at the head. Chappie has to choose between good and evil. Ultimately, good and love prevail, with some redemption and even reincarnation, although there is some irony, as Chappie says in his childlike voice how violence and hurting are wrong, while he bounces a major villain off the ceiling.

The film seems too derived from “Robocop” and other AI movies, and too much trying to be all things to all viewers. It is well acted by the person who is then animated as Chappie, and otherwise well animated. It could have been a much better film with a better written plot and more attention being paid to the ideas of the film, including, of course, where God fits in to the world of human made intelligence.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Stanley Hirtle, age 70 (USA)
Negative—Can the human soul fit on a memory stick? If you are the writer/director of “Chappie,” then you believe it can. You also believe that religion is bad, because the villain in the film is a devout Catholic who believes that humans are capable of moral judgment (his own is horrendous) which robots are not.

The film, itself, has good special effects, but is otherwise a vastly inferior version of Will Smith’s “I, Robot” with a stronger secular philosophy and much more language and violence—extreme in both cases.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dr. David, age 47 (USA)
Negative—An utterly stupid movie which appears to have been written by gang members who are utterly selfish and self-centered. The vocabulary is similar to gang speech, which I am aware of as a former law enforcement officer in a liberal controlled city in the South. Visually, the CGI is well done, but the view is spoiled often whenever gang mannerisms become the main topic.

Morality is missing or so weak that it is lost in the barrage of hate, narcissism, evil and profanity. And, the lessons taught offend everything that our Lord God stands for. Eventually, when the movie comes to TV and the profanity is edited out, you will be watching a mostly silent movie… ha!

Finally, If you do not watch it, you will be rewarded with longer life.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Floyd, age 63 (USA)

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