It seems everything that made District 9 great was a series of fortunate mistakes.
Chappie is not a popular movie. Sometimes I go against critics, sometimes I go with them—this time I am with them. Despite some truly moving and powerful moments, this movie is basically dead in the water.
The film follows the first true AI, Chappie, as he works to find his place in the world. The issues of consciousness, self, and life are all present, but poorly discussed. Instead, the movie spends most of its time with some of the most unlikable and stupid characters I have ever seen. Chappie ends up with a group of deadbeat morons instead of his creator. Ninja and Yo-Landi are two of the worst written characters I have ever seen.
The real tragedy of this film is that we spend our time with objectively disgusting people and not discussing the major themes that the movie at least teases. The robot Chappie is interesting, and some of the scenes involving him are beautifully done. What holds these scenes back is that they are bracketed with horrid acting and dialogue on the part of some of the worst characters imaginable.
Even Hugh Jackman seems to be sleepwalking his way through the film in what might be his worst performance. How District 9 was so good and Chappie so bad almost doesn’t make sense. What is further confusing is that Chappie borrows several moments from District 9. The brief (and I mean brief) moments of thought and humor do not outweigh the rest of this cringe-worthy disaster. 2/10