Tuesday, 24 March 2015

(Movie) Meet Robothug....a look at CHAPPiE

What do you get when you have a robotic child raised by Die Antwoord?

You get CHAPPiE.

Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, a group of crooks forces a robot designer to give them control of a security robot. The robot he gives them is the first of its kind. It possesses artificial intelligence.

Story/Dialogue: This concept really intrigues me. To set said concept in a third world country intrigues me moreso. Watching CHAPPiE grow in the harshest of places and still being able to root for him makes for good character development. His "parents" are zany and colourful and bizarre, as though they stepped out of a painting from someone tripping acid. Even though a lot of the other actors didn't have a lot of screen time, they played their parts well. I enjoyed seeing Hugh Jackman as a bad guy who believed he was doing the right thing.
As for the dialogue...while nothing stood out to me, I think that it benefitted the movie more. It showed its capability through action, rather than dialogue.

Cinematography: One of my favourite things I enjoyed about this film is the contrast between the suburban side of Johannesburg and its darker, yet more colourful underbelly. The DoP also seemed to draw on a lot of Michael Bay's design choices (Such as they are,) with its orange and blue colour schemes around the robot design centre.

Audio: Composed by Hans Zimmer. While I loved his industrial and electronic score, a lot of the music seemed to be a big Die Antwoord plug. Another issue I had was the clashing of dialogue and music. Intense though the music was, when it conflicts with the dialogue, it disturbs the suspension of disbelief.

Overall: SONY do love their product placement and are thoroughly unsubtle about it and the crooks overarching enemy's speech apparently requires subtitles. Even so, the movie was enjoyable and easy to follow. CHAPPiE himself is a likeable character in his curiosity and earnestness and Sharto Copley voiced him perfectly.

4 stars.

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