I was one of the few people looking forward to Chappie, and this came as an even bigger surprise than the fact that a lot of people weren't fans of Elysium. The film is based on a 1 minute short film Blomkamp made back in 2004. It's a very basic short film, but it's an enjoyable one, if you could even call it a short film. It's more like a concept he came up with, portrayed as a fake advertisement. Then the reviews started to come out, and once again, there was a lot more negativity than I thought, but like I do with every movie, I went in open minded. I went in hoping for the best. And what did I get? A very underrated movie.
Watching Chappie grow and evolve is sure to put a smile of your face, or at least it did mine. He's a funny, relatable and endearing character to follow, and when things get really bad for him, or he's looked down upon by the world around him, it's really upsetting to watch. He's got the design of a police robot, but the mind of a child, and so when confronted with uncomfortable situations, his reaction is almost too realistic. It's unsettling to watch. You want Chappie to do good and turn out okay, but you doubt it, especially with the over-looming presence of his low battery life.
That isn't the only problem with the script either. Co-written by Terri Tatchell and Blomkamp himself, who's last collaboration was on District 9, the script works really well, for the most part anyway. It's intriguing, eye opening and ambitious. Then they put in lines like "a frog in a sock" that made me pull back and leave the scene for a moment. However, it's Chappie's lines that soar, not just because of the lovableness of everything he says, but because you can really tell that the writers care about the character they're creating. And when they're happy with him, we're happy with him.
My only other complaint with this film is the ending. The first 100 minutes of Chappie were great. They're nothing mind-blowing, but they're fun and they're entertaining. Then we get to the last twenty minutes and not only do things get a bit unbelievable, but they go overboard. There's sci-fi and then there's too much sci-fi, and as a big sci-fi fan, I'm surprised to say that they overdid the sci-fi in the finale. It's a stupid ending to what could have been a great movie.