Chappie - The Movie To Make You Want A Robot?
Chappie - The Movie To Make You Want A Robot?
Written by Lucy Black   
Saturday, 08 November 2014

As well as the increasing number of super hero movies, robots seem to be getting their share of the action. Chappie is a new movie starring Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel and the eponymous Chappie - a powerful robot as small child. 

Ironically robots really are a good way to play out the human condition. You can use them to provoke thoughts about the nature of life, death and everything in between. Mostly, however, in Hollywood blockbusters, they simply figure as big mean killing machines.

Chappie is a movie that might be a little different; although from the trailer it looks as if there is a certain amount of robocop mixed with terminator action.  However the main ingredient seems to be a "coming of age" type story:

"Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings - some good, some bad - and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there's one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever."

All well and good but mentioning "heart and soul" so early in the description jumps the gun by a mile. It also seems to be something of a re-exploration of the "Jonny-five" stories in Short Circuit 1 and 2. In both cases, the robots slowly worked out that they were conscious

"Something wonderful has happened... Number Five is alive!" 


"I'm consciousness. I'm alive. I'm Chappie."

It is interesting to compare the way the two robots look - how robot fashions move on.





Take a look at this slightly too-fast paced trailer: 


Chappie is essentially cute in a child like way but my guess is that as he grows up and finds his way things turn out bad for the bad guys. 

Given the current interest stirred up by Elon Musk's recent predictions of a robot apocalypse and "We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes", this movie is something of an antidote. Why should be worry if our robot creations turn out to be better than we are - it's what every parent hopes for.



You can see Chappie in March next year (2015).



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