I shall be examining Chappie to see what makes it tick, analysing its direction and testing its logic to see if it works or burns out. So read on only if you’ve already seen Chappie, or don’t plan to.
0:01:56 A South African police captain announces the creation of the world’s first robotic police force. Have you seen RoboCop? Well, you will now.
0:02:10 Ooh, Anderson Cooper presenting RoboCop Chappie on CNN. Anderson Cooper is the Princess Kate of gay men.
0:02:54 Hugh Jackman as Vincent Moore, a developer who has a larger, man-controlled fighting robot that looks like the ones used in RoboCop. #CrapMetal
0:03:22 Dev Patel as Deon Wilson, a developer of the AI scouts who says he wants to give the next generation of RoboCops the ability to feel. Crikey, that would be a good idea for this generation of police officers.
0:05:56 The police are looking for the criminal gang composed of
- Ninja as Ninja
- Yo-Landi Visser as ¥o-landi Vi$$er
- Jose Pablo Cantillo as Amerika (Yankie)
- Johnny Selema as Pitbull
who lead the forces of law directly to the lair of their leader Hippo (an incredibly wicked looking Brandon Auret), the King of all Badassery.
0:06:42 Because the band of fools destroyed the drugs they were transporting (and by the WTF, if the police helicopters were following the gang on the motorway, why haven’t they arrived at the hideout yet?), Hippo makes Ninja promise to pay him 20,000,000 rand in 7 days. To make his point, he puts Pitbull down.
0:07:48 The droids arrive at the scene with the police. The CGI work here is as flawless as Anderson Cooper.
0:09:46 The trio escape in a van, though Amerika is hit and and this time George Bush isn’t around to fight for him.
0:10:21 Sigourney Weaver pays Michelle Bradley, the head of the company that manufactures the droids. She looks as happy to be here as a suicide bomber watching training videos / a gay man in the Pakistan Taliban / a real actor in a Michael Bay film.
0:12:04 Scout 22, one of the police robots, is so damaged he’s been earmarked for destruction. Poor bot…when he finds out, he’ll be crushed.
0:14:51 The song in the background while Ninja & ¥o-landi plan the kidnapping is “Cookie Thumper” by Die Antwoord.
[N.B. The South African techno punk group Die Antwoord is composed of Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser – the stars of Chappie. Al K Hall’s most popular Audio Dregs to date explores the phenomenon that is Die Antwoord and includes music samples, videos and photos. Well worth the visit. Hear here.]
0:16:34 Deon spends all night coding and has a dorkasm when he successfully writes a stable AI program. This is my equivalent of passing level 97 of Candy Crush.
0:18:40 A cat poster inspires Deon to go against his boss’s orders and install the AI software on Scout 22, which was scheduled to be demolished. Cat posters also inspire me – to never buy a cat.
0:20:06 Amerika and Ninja kidnap Deon while he’s stealing Scout 22 and a top secret chip (‘guard key’) that allows him to access the robot’s brain. Ninja’s team, using Deon, hope to find a way to hack the police scouts to steal the 20,000,000 they need to pay Hippo. They’re counting on Deon, and 20M is a lot of counting.
0:21:28 The police force tell Vincent they’re not interested in his giant robot (the Moose) because it’s ‘overkill’. If they shoot someone with it, it certainly will be.
0:24:26 The triplets tell Deon to build them “an indestructible robot gangsta number one son”. He tells them they’ll have to teach it like a child but it’ll learn faster than a normal person. It will certainly learn much faster than these lowlifes.
0:29:22 When the robot is booted up he behaves like a newborn until he learns a couple of words, like “watch ” and “chicken”. Because these are the most useful words in the English language.
Yolandi: You look so happy. You look like a happy chappie. That’s your name! Chappie.
Deon: No. No, no no, no, no. His name is not Chappie.
Could be worse. Could be ‘Deon’.
0:31:21 While trying to steal the guard key for his own robots, Vincent discovers Deon stole it before him. This is a company that needs to re-evaluate their security policies.
0:34:18 Ninja tries to teach Chappie how to shoot so that Chappie can be his backup. The only problem is that Chappie doesn’t want to give it a shot.
0:36:32 In the office, Vincent approaches Deon for the guard key. He slams Deon’s face down hard on his desk, insults him, threatens him, puts a gun to his head and pulls the trigger, though the gun was empty. As he says he was kidding afterwards, no one calls Human Resources. WTF!? Talk about a hostile takeover bid.
The back reads, ‘With a ass like this’ and an arrow pointing to her back end.
Here it is from the “Baby’s On Fire” video [photo credit: Al K Hall].
0:41:19 Deon makes Chappie promise to him, Chappie’s maker, that he won’t engage in any of the gang’s illegal activities. Chappie listens to his maker religiously.
[N.B. This notion of creation and religion will continue to be a subplot throughout the film. Here Deon gives him his first commandment: Thou shall not steal.]
0:43:12 Vincent is against Chappie on religious grounds, as he believes robots should not be given man’s intelligence. Considering many of the men I know, replicating their intelligence is setting his sights rather low.
0:46:43 To teach Chappie a life lesson, Ninja decides he’s going to drop the police robot off in a bad part of town so Chappie can appreciate how good he’s got it at the abandoned factory. My parents did this to me. It was called ‘boarding school’.
0:52:35 Vincent tracks Chappie using the GPS and knocks him out of commission using an electronic pulse gun. Chappie goes down like Enron stock or a drunk twink in a gay bar.
0:53:14 Vincent cuts off Chappie’s arm to punish him for thinking he’s real. Chappie would give his right arm to have it back but…
0:54:31 Chappie escapes from the truck but Vincent has taken the guard key. Chappie no longer has a chip on his shoulder, or anywhere else.
0:57:02 Amerika reinstalls an extra arm that Deon left behind. Giving others a hand is so Amerikan.
0:59:43 Chappie makes a Yolandi action figure.
1:02:25 Chappie learns how to use an arsenal of non-lethal weapons (to Die Antwoord – Cookie Thumper). And gets some tattoos and bling. His Blue Tooth is now gold.
1:05:13 To the tune of ‘Baby’s On Fire‘ (Die Antwoord again), Ninja and Amerika teach Chappie how to car jack by telling him he’s stealing cars back from bad people for Daddy (Ninja). Chappie has got a lot of drive.
Chappie: I’m titanium. I’m going to live forever, daddy.
Ninja [pointing at a guage on Chappie’s chassis]: What does that say there?
Chappie: ‘Low battery’. Battery, power, energy supply. Daddy, I need a new battery.
Ninja: Chappie, that battery’s stuck. It’s melted together. That battery can’t come out. Now, what you gonna do when that battery runs out?
Chappie: I die? Chappie die?
Ninja: Deon, he put you in a broken body.
Chappie: Deon’s my Maker. It doesn’t make any sense. He wouldn’t make me just so I could die. Deon loves me, daddy.
Apart from the fact Ninja is using this argument to trick Chappie into breaking his word to Deon and participating in the heist, it’s a valid religious debate.
1:12:34 Deon goes to pass time with his ‘creation’, but Chappie is upset with him and confronts Deon about putting him in a body that will die in a couple of days. Deon apologizes and says he didn’t know Chappie would turn out to be Chappie.
Here’s my rewrite of this scene.
Chappie: But you my maker. Why’d you just make me so I could die?
Deon: I didn’t… I didn’t make you so you could die, Chappie. I made you so you could live.
The italics is my addition. That’s so me, always tampering with imperfection.
1:13:52 Using the guard key, Vincent downloads a bug in all of the Scouts so that they self destruct: a true computer virus.
1:15:34 With the police force offline, there are mass riots that threaten to destroy the entire nation of South Africa, yet still aren’t as bad as Liverpool FC hooligans after a match.
1:18:15 Before Vincent can delete the traces of the malware he used to knock the robots offline, Deon arrives back at Tetravaal to repair Chappie. He quarantines the virus and reboots Chappie, which also stops the deletion of the malware program. This scene does nothing to contradict the impression that ‘IT suspense’ is as mutually exclusive as ‘American diplomacy’ or ‘British cuisine’.
1:20:28 Chappie has a plan. He wants to take the neural transmitter hat to transfer his consciousness from one Scout body to another. Personally, I’ve tried this with scouts – Boy Scouts. And I didn’t use a hat.
1:24:33 Chappie has copied his consciousness and put it on-line. If another computer hacks into it and reposts it on 4-Chan, we could have ‘the Chappening’.
1:25:06 Song while preparing for the heist is still “Cookie Thumper”.
1:26:22 There’s significant WTFage here. 1) When did it suddenly become day as Deon was still working on finding a solution in the night before and 2) would a bank really decide to send an armoured car with hundreds of millions of rand the day after a massive uprising when all of police robots are offline? Someone hijacked the WTF truck.
1:29:03 Vincent convinces Michelle, his boss, to let him use the big robot through cajoling and whining. Apparently acting like a baby works with powerful women.
1:31:28 Chappie learns Ninja lied about getting a new body for him and that he was only using Chappie for the heist. Like a toaster in the bath, Chappie is shocked.
1:32:58 Hippo comes before the Moose. It’s a real zoo over there.
1:37:42 While stealing a van to get get away, Hippo shoots Ninja in the leg and Deon in the stomach. Deon has a lot of guts.
1:40:31 Yo-landi jumps out of the moving van, grabs an automatic rifle and opens season on the Moose, who shoots back. Holey shite!
1:41:22 Chappie blows up Moose with an explosive charge he’d placed there earlier in the fight. Chappie performs the magic trick of turning a moose into toast.
1:42:19 WTF!? There’s no way Ninja, who was shot in the leg, could pick up and carry ¥o-landi around. The only way he’d be able to pick her up is in a bar.
1:44:37 Chappie thrashes Morris for killing his mother board.
1:46:38 Doing the robot Chappie transfers Deon’s consciousness to another scout droid. This is a step backwards in the evolution of technology.
1:48:34 Oh bloody Christ on a WTF!? There are only seconds to transfer Chappie’s consciousness to an available scout before the police break down the door but a robot decides this conversation is worth risking his entire existence for
Deon [with urgency] : Come on, Chappie. Come on!
Chappie: Maker. [Deon leaves the terminal and rushes to Chappie’s side] I’m scared. What if it doesn’t work?
Deon: It’s going to work, Chappie. I promise.
Chappie: And you can never break a promise.
Deon: Come on, let’s do this!
1:49:58 The boys meet up outside the company, each in their new robot bodies. #AC/DC
1:51:04 Ninja discovers a flash drive with ¥o-landi’s consciousness on it. Is it just me, or is this highly insulting? All of your essence couldn’t fill up a flash drive? She doesn’t have a lot of memory.
1:51:47 The South African police have stopped using robots altogether. They are also asking for information on the location of Chappie. But can’t be bothered to visit the location where all of the money from the armoured car heist was tossed into the wind and the largest robot cop ever used was deployed and killed dozens of people and was also Chappie’s last known location and where Chappie and Ninja still live. WTF!?
1:53:04 Chappie remotely makes a ¥o-landi robot to the tune of Die Antwoord’s ‘Enter the Ninja’. She’s really built.
- WTF!?’s: 8 shocking ones
- When to Follow: Saturday afternoon between 3-4:30 and it’s just come on Netflix
- Where’s This Found: Out of a possible 10, I have 6 F’s to give
- What To Feedback:
[Edit: As a reader mentioned in ‘other’ “iRobot. DUH!”, this film has been added to the survey.]
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
Prints suitable for reposting!
WTF!? do you meme?
What to Follow Up
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