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Monday, 09 March 2015 00:00


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There was a world of hype about the new robotic action movie, Chappie that opened up last weekend. Sadly, it was a giant thud at the box office.

Oh, Chappie debuted at number one but with a measly 13 million. Far, far short of what is needed for this to be a success.  All seemed to be in place for a big opening, so why did they stay away from Chappie like they did.  I always say, most of the time when you see a TON of TV for a movie before it opens, that usually spells big trouble.

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Chappie is the story that takes place in South Africa, where robots have taken over as the primary police force.  And they are a huge success. Crime is down and things are headed in the right direction except robots are made by people, and they eventually get in the way of the good.

Chappie is a rejected police robot that was slated for recycling when his creator steals him from the gigantic defense contractor to put a new kind of brain in him.  The idea is to create a robot that can think, reason and feel.  So he does, and Chappie is created as an infant in the mind. Chappie is then taken by a band of thugs who want to program him to be a gangster and help them relieve themselves of a 20 million dollar debt. And they do.

Then the creator is after him to save him for the good. The defense company is after him to destroy him, and a rival band of thugs is after them all to try to steal Chappie after seeing how effective he can be. Plus, a jealous defense contractor and fellow employee wants to destroy Chappie so his own invention can be the new Marshall in town.  Lots going on here.

Chappie is a very good idea that falls way short of what it should have been.  First off this is rated R.  It is not a kids movie, even though many think it is because of the name and the packaging.  Chappie is violent, and loaded with harsh language.  Chappie is also very funny at times, and wildly creative. The special effects of Chappie is amazing. Chappie comes to life in an amazing way, and the makers should be commended for that.  This also makes a ton of social commentary, and has a heart for the most part.

But there is something missing here and it's tough to put a finger on it. For some reason, this just does not work as it should. This should have been very good, but instead it ends up looking like another robot movie, and it shouldn't.  They had a great premise, and it fumbled away.  Chappie ends up being very unpleasant at times, repetitive, and draggy. Nice cast with Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, and Sigourney Weaver, but they can't save it from being average. 

Chappie. This is not a bad movie.  But a big, big opportunity to be really different, but instead a big chance wasted.


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