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Film Review: Consciousness Morality for Robots in Odd ‘Chappie’

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CHICAGO – Who would think a robot movie would teach us about being more intuitively “human”? “Chappie” is a very peculiar film – with fighting robots, violence and grit on one side, and the tenderness of finding a nurturing source and a consciousness on the other. It is worth experiencing.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Neill Blomkamp, the director of the Oscar nominated “District 9” and 2013’s “Elysium,” is no stranger to bleak world views, and often uses this perspective as a means to a larger perspective. “Chappie” is no exception, as the meaning of consciousness and nurturing come through the bang-bang of warring criminal gangs and robot police officers. Blomkamp also uses his allegories in strange and sometimes off putting ways, and while “Chappie” has some of those bizarre sidetracks, sticking with the film all the way will yield some very thoughtful rewards.

Johannesburg, South Africa, is a lawless city that has lost the means of enforcement of social order. A robotics company steps in, and creates a squad of policing robots invented by Deon (Dev Patel), and overseen by his supervisor Michelle (Sigourney Weaver). The success and money it brings angers a rival inventor in the company, Vincent (Hugh Jackman), as his “Moose” robot gets cut from funding.

All is success until Police Robot 22 is destroyed so viciously that it’s headed for the scrap pile. Deon uses this opportunity to revive 22, and insert a new “consciousness” software, designed to give the robot feelings. As he is bringing the robot home, they are kidnapped by criminal gang members Ninja (Watkin Tudor Jones) and Yolandi (Yo-Landi Visser), and the newly dubbed “Chappie” is adopted by his law breaker parents, to learn the ways of the world.

”Chappie” opens everywhere on March 6th. Featuring Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharito Copley, Watkin Tudor Jones and Yo-landi Visser. Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Chappie”

You Know His Name, Look Up His Number in ‘Chappie’
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Releasing

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Chappie”

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