South African director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) is unleashing his latest sci-fi romp CHAPPiE on theaters this Friday. Rave rap group Die Antwoord are the stars this time around; apparently, Blomkamp has been looking to work with them for a while, and happily signed Ninja and Yolandi Visser on to play what basically amounts to themselves.
The titular character is a new breed of police robot who goes sentient, capable of learning and feeling, and Die Antwoord kidnap him and use him to plan a heist of their own and get back at the corporation that created him. So yes, CHAPPiE does appear to boil down to what if Die Antwoord raised a sentient robot in the ways of zef?:
Like most Blomkamp films, a big-scale plan goes wrong somehow, the police come, and a shoot-out happens. Blomkamp is the kind of director who factors world building into every aspect of the story, so there tends to be less exposition, and this grants a more lived-in feel to his films:
At this point, comes the rejection of new technologies or life that the antagonists don’t seem to understand. So far, Blomkamp’s stories have all been allegorical in nature; District 9 was a comment on South African apartheid, while Elysium was a comment on American immigration. CHAPPiE looks to be taking a more generic approach toward discrimination, but the bad guys all seem no less maniacal.
CHAPPiE stars Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Watkin “Ninja” Jones, Yolandi Visser, Dev Patal, and Jose Cantillo and is out in theaters on Friday, March 6.