Chappie08 Mar 2015
Firstly, I was not expecting that much Die Antwoord. I’m not mad about it, it was just unexpected.
But beyond that, Chappie lacked a bigger, driving motivation that was present in District 9. It didn’t have anything new to offer to the genre. It’s final turn, the consciousness babble, wasn’t earned. Chappie’s fumbling and mumbling, and final emotional realization wasn’t properly paced or believable. And even a talented director can only do so much with a 3/4 baked script and actors who don’t seem to believe in the project. Speaking of actors – woof – such flat, uninterested performances turned in by everyone, even seasoned members of the cast like Sigourney Weaver. As someone who writes computer programs everyday, I have never once been as out of breath or exasperated as Dev Patel was every time he was in front of a screen.
Part of me fears that after District 9, Blomkamp and Charlto Copley felt some sense of responsibility or pressure to keep coming back to Johannesburg, to keep producing big hits, or message laden commercial films. So far, they haven’t been able to live up to it. In my opinion, the best thing they can do, is to try something completely new. Something that they have strong thoughts on or feelings about.
I still think Blomkamp is a unique voice in cinema, his gritty style deserves to be advanced. He just needs to be struck by inspiration in the way he was with District 9.