Had fairly high hopes for this movie, I have been a fan of Neil Blomkamps work, I loved District 9 and Elysium was pretty good as well. So I was very interested to see how CHAPiE would turn out,
The cast was kind of a mixed bag, Dev Patel as Deon was decent and Hugh Jackman while kind of inconsistent was serviceable he is an asshole for whatever they need him to be, he's supposed to be a military person but sometimes it's his faith that’s driving him and yeah its inconsistent. Sigourney Weaver is in it and its always good seeing her in sci fi though her character is not very major. And after coming off as a fairly reasonable strong character she is turned by Hugh Jackman very quickly. There is also Die Antwood the South African rap group in the movie and I thought they were a bit hit or miss, when they were raising chappie they were good but the stuff outside that was a bit to silly also Yolandi just seems a bit too nice to be in a criminal gang. On to Chappie I quite liked the robot he takes on the characteristics of those around him and its funny seeing the way he acts as he learns. His movement/body structure is kind of similar to the prawns of district 9 but he is different enough/becomes different enough that he is pretty memorable.
On to the movie itself, the story was decent though some Hugh Jackman's antics are really stupid. There is a scene with some pretty terrible workplace harassment right in the middle of an office and its a wonder Hugh Jackmans character does not get fired, or that nobody seems to mention it. As this is a Sony Movie there was plenty of Sony Product Placement, lots of Vaio Laptops which is funny because Sony just spun Vaio off. PlayStation 4s are featured and its funny how they end up being used, strangely enough I don't remember seeing any Xperia Phones. The Action was good, most is at the end similar to D9. Actually a lot of the movie was similar to District 9 probably to CHAPiEs detriment though as most of it was better in D9.
I tried to temper my expectations after seeing the reception and for the most part I enjoyed the movie, it definitely had its issues but was not really that bad or anything until the ending. The movie comes off as reasonable even with how crazy Die Antwood are you can suspend your disbelief because it’s a movie but the ending is just so jarring that it brings the rest of the movie down. I get what the messaging is and what the intention was for the ending but it comes in so abruptly and is not executed very well.
Overall I enjoyed the movie for the most part though it certainly had its issues. You could do a lot worse movie wise but Neil Blomkamp could do better.