By Brandon Evans, Live Wire staff writer
When you watch this movie all the way to the end, the word Miracles should be the first thing to pop into your head. After you’re done bawling your eyes out from all the terribly horrific and sad scenes, that is to say. Miracles because not one but two miracles occurred in this 90 minute film: the ability to create artificial intelligence in a single night, and the ability to upload human consciousness into a computerized interface. Realistically, these miracles should have happened thousands of years apart. But that is never the case with director Neil Blomkamp.
This movie has several focal points. Chappie focuses on the beauty, the horrors, and the questions of artificial intelligence. The movie also centers around the idea about not letting others stifle your creativity. “You can do anything you want to, Chappie, do not forget that,” as Theo, the creator of chappie’s artificially intelligent mind said, right before one of the worst and most heartfelt scenes in the entire movie occurred, but I’ll let your hearts shatter instead of telling you. Chappie grows up during the film, as a child grows up by experiencing numerous hardships in his life. He experiences attachments, friendship, confusion and loss. In the movie, Chappie was able to speak, lie, and protect. As he was made to do, but he had an extra, more human element to his being. Chappie had instincts and heart. He does not do a risk assessment before doing what’s right, he does it immediately without thought and that is what makes him somewhat human, and why he is able to see himself as human.
One thing that surprised me at the very end was the two actors Yolandi and Ninja. Not only were they actors on the movie, but very talented musicians as well. Their band’s name is called Die Antwoord and in the movie, much of their artwork from their albums is on the walls of their concrete hideout. The artwork is both adorable and disturbing in its own way. We also see Ninja pull out a yellow M-14 assault rifle, to fight the rival game. This yellow rifle also appears in one of his music videos. A third and final observation, they spray paint the robot Chappie with their album names such as Ten$ion. The way they are in the movie is the way they are in real life, and this is what really tied the movie together for me personally, and for the director as well. However, many fans and critics think otherwise of their acting skills. They believe that their musical selves should have remained separate from their acting skills. However, it has been said by a co-star of the movie, Brandon Auret, that they’re on set attitude was just as bad as their acting. Maybe a few of you will see their acting as good as I saw it, I would hope.
The fact that Yolandi and Ninja were non-professional actors did not make them bad actors at all. In fact, they acted the parts that they were casted. Yolandi acted as a mother to Chappie when he needed it, which was what added a very heartfelt element to the movie. Ninja played his part excellently too, the father who wanted his child to be something else, something of his vision. He wanted to use chappie for his personal gain, and did not think much of his “humanity” or how he felt about anything for the duration of the movie, at least until the end. The duo played who they were in real life because that is what best suits them.
Hugh Jackman, unlike in the X-men films, and similar to his contribution to the Real Steel film, jackman plays the villainous engineer who wishes for his invention to be realized as well as Deo’s. His invention in the movie is called the moose. A much larger and heavier piece of machinery that is essentially a robot but with more firepower, and connects to the users neurons so that the user can control the robot. Jackman in this movie is selfish, greedy, and goes by the evil scientist saying, “There is no progress without sacrifice.” The saying is true, but jackman’s character goes much too far and that ethical line is crossed, 3 times actually. Jackman’s character has the aim to only further his invention, and to do that, he creates turmoil and chaos by trying to shut down the only thing protecting people from themselves. His character realistically plays the part of a mad scientist whose only goal in life is success of the self, not of others. To be recognized as a lead in his respective field by any means necessary. Where jackman’s character was headed, it was obvious that from the beginning, his aim was to create chaos and turmoil to further the use of his own invention.
As the director does with all his films, he leaves us on a cliffhanger. As with his history, we may never know if we will get a sequel to the movie of Chappie. However, what this movie should mean to the audience as a summary of events is, do not let the world stifle your creativity and humanity, be a blank slate and don’t let people take your innate qualities away from you, but do not break rules and hurt others to get what you want. Success can be obtained through peaceful methods of progression.