Sunday, March 08, 2015

Chappie (movie review)

I enjoyed this movie in many dimensions at The Bagdad, now first run, with better sound and picture.  I'm privileged.  I even wolfed down beer and pizza, on my way to Lucky Strike later, for dessert.

Chappie is all about USA meets RSA, and wow what a synergy.  You'll see a little Microsoft in the warehouse (did you catch it?) but for the most part RSA is Ubuntu country, and it shows.  They're light years ahead with their prototypes.  Even the dumb old Moose is able to negotiate some tight corners once a human bad guy pilot sits at the console, drone-style, and takes cowardly action.

This isn't a subtle interpretation or anything.  The mom wears a USA flag, the RSA flag is on Chappie, and the two flags appear jointly in a great many shots.  One of mommie's best friends is named The American by Chappie's mom.  The parents both have JoBurg haircuts, known around the world as "the JoBurg look" (I've actually never been to JoBurg, just Cape Town and Bloemfontaine and stuff -- when a family HQS was in Lesotho).

Chappie's creator is a bit classist and doesn't like that Chappie wants to "be cool" like his mom.  Chappie comes to understand the problem of mortality drives us all and joins in the craziness, misdirected into thinking he's not really hurting people with those Bruce Lee maneuvers, as his compassion circuits are hard-wired.  In the end, he ends up saving more lives than he wastes, if we count the movie-going audience and its sensibilities, which I do.

Having consciousness go "by wire" from A to B is so philosophically problematic as to make this a comedy on steroids.  I laughed and cried with my beer and had a generally great time at The Bagdad.