Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
What is the soul and the spirit?
Can humans create a soul for a robot?
role of robots in our world and future
issues involved in using robots to police the human world
using robots for criminal purposes
|Featuring:||Hugh Jackman … Vincent Moore
Sigourney Weaver … Michelle 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
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|Director:||Neill Blomkamp—“District 9,” “Elysium,” “Stargate SG-1”|
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|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.
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.
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.
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.