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Published March 11th, 2015
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Chappie is not a kid's film. It is not "Short Circuit" or "ET." "Chappie" is rated R for violence, language and nudity. The story, if you can call it that, takes place in the near future where a man-made mechanical police force patrols for crime. Gangster thugs steal Chappie (Sharlto Copley) - one of the robots - and reprogram him to become a criminal gang member.
Neill Blomkamp, a South African native who previously directed "Elysium" (2013), "District 9" (2009) and "Stargate GS-1," directs "Chappie." All I can say is his films have been deteriorating over the years. "Chappie" is a movie with totally unlikable characters. It is sad to see quality actors such as Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables"), Sigourney Weaver ("Gorillas in the Mist," "Working Girl," "Aliens") and talented young actor Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") take acting jobs just for a paycheck. They could not have read the script and said, "This is a great project; sign me up."
The following is an example of how low this film takes us. In the opening scene the thugs are running away from the police and their street thug language is so bad, vulgar and difficult to understand that even though they are speaking English, Blomkamp tries to help the audience relate by adding subtitles to the dialogue.
Jackman is so miscast that you can see his discomfort on the screen. In one scene, while staking out the gang members, he is running around in his "Reno 911" shorts as the audience giggles. This is an embarrassment for him and his career.
I gave up during the pit bull dog-fighting scene and decided to leave the theater. I only wasted one hour of my life that I will never get back, instead of two. "Chappie" should have been destroyed at the script stage and never seen the light of day. Don't say I didn't warn you about this pile of scrap metal junk!
Be sure to watch, Real to Reel every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on KOFY TV20, the Bay Area's only talk show about "Everything Entertainment in the Bay Area," hosted by Derek Zemrak and Leonard Pirkle.


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