Neill Blomkamp’s next foray into sci-fi is Chappie, a film about a conscious robot. I’ll be honest, I was kind of let own with with his last film, Elysium. I mean, I liked it. It was visually aesthetic and conveyed some poignant political commentary but it sort of dragged as a film and didn’t have the bite that District 9 had.
With that said, I am still very excited for this. We are living in an age where we are becoming more and more reliant on technology and are building better, faster, more comprehensive computers, so a robot who “feels” is not as much of a stretch as it was only 10 years ago. Hopefully Chappie is a little more upbeat than Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
But the overall concept from Chappie, a robot who is conscious, is a classic science fiction theme. We were presumably built from God’s image, if you believe in that sort of thing, and we build robots in our own. Up to this point, we have not yet gotten to the point where robots or computers are conscious, but we are definitely trying to get there. This take by Blomkamp seems a lot more pleasant than, let’s say, Terminator 2, which is nice. Most films and stories about robots and computers who become self-aware usually ends poorly for humans.
Sharlto Copley, who has been in every Neill Blomkamp film, is also in this. He will be voicing Chappie. Dev Patel, who you might recognize from the HBO show The Newsroom, plays the nerd who creates Chappie. Hugh Jackman also makes an appearance in the trailer and he seems like a dick with a bad haircut and he is first billed on IMDb’s cast and crew page. Interestingly enough, Sigourney Weaver is listed second and has no name credited to her. I like this intrigue and you can never NEVER go wrong with Weaver, who has rocked many science fiction movies.
Chappie hits theaters on March 6, 2015.