A new trailer arrived this week for CHAPPIE from the writer/director of DISTRICT 9. Once again,director Neill BLOMKAMP is set to blow our minds with imagery and subtext. His films are beautiful. They haunt us with dystopian visions of the future. They are more than eye-candy. They have something substantial to chew on. They are about SOMETHING.
The trailer doesn’t give away too much story. It focuses on character and atmosphere, hinting at the larger universe this film inhabits. I’m almost expecting an R-rated WALL-E. I’m thinking of the first half of that Pixar film where we are isolated with the little silent robot – not the second half with the bulbous gelatinous humans. I’m hoping CHAPPIE examines the themes of morality, awareness, and existence. Heavy ideas, but universal ones that future AI will try and replicate. I hope this film here is another cautionary tale from this cherished artist.
It looks like CHAPPIE will have more humour than the director’s previous efforts. And I’m not referring to the human star HUGH JACKMAN’s future mullet. I’m thinking of physical comedy and the gangster characters played by crazy South African rappers. Dev PATEL (SLUMDOG MILLIONARE, NEWSROOM) co-stars as some sort of techie who befriends (?) Chappie. Matt Damon was drawn to this visionary director for ELYSIUM, and now Wolverine joins in on the fun. I feel like this is a clear sign indicating these stars’ desire to collaborate with this monumental man behind the lens.
We get a hint of the crazy anime-esque action that Blomkamp’s films always deliver. We get a taste of the minimalist designs & real world with lived-in details. The director’s vision is pure. He has one of the most unique aesthetics around, that is copied by numerous others who fail. I highly anticipate CHAPPIE despite knowing next to nothing of the plot. I crave ORIGINAL sci-fi. Obviously, now-a-days every big budget movie is based on a familiar “property.” It is so refreshing when a movie comes out and we don’t ALREADY know the plot and every twist or turn.
We need movies like DISTRICT 9 more than we realize. My high hopes and anticipation for CHAPPIE really stems from the creative team. I simply trust the artist here. Isn’t that how movies should be? We go to see our favourite directors & writers?
Most sequels or adaptations have directors that are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter who directs the movie. Everything has been pre-planned to the point that the director needn’t have a vision. Being a huge nerd I crave new material. I’m glad Hollywood occasionally gives a visionary a chance. What am I saying? I’m glad these visionaries were able to break down the door and force the big producers to recognize their work.
What do you think about this trailer? Are you excited?
Or did Blomkamp burn you with ELYSIUM? Do you feel like movies get too preachy when they offer social commentary?
Who’s your favourite director that has yet to break into Hollywood blockbusters?