In this digital age, a lot of the public weighs so heavily on the scores of critics, when in fact the scores of reviewers themselves seem to depict a more objective outlook than those of some of the most highly regarded film critics and cinema snobs in the world.
Take, for instance, the movie “Chappie” which opened earlier this week to audiences all over the country. After having to coerce both my parents into seeing the film, each one of us agreed that while it was not the “blockbuster” that rakes in the dough, it was incredibly well made, had a dynamic plot and a colorful selection of characters who peter back-and-forth between good and evil.
However, thanks to the aggregated critiques on Rotten Tomatoes, I almost missed my opportunity to enjoy this film. Receiving only 33 percent, it seems the cinemaphiles of the world just couldn’t get into a movie where the main character was not even real.
Oh wait… what about “Her,” the film where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his iPhone (94 percent according to rottentomatoes.com) or that Ryan Gosling movie “Lars and the Real Girl,” that film critics ate up (81 percent “fresh”).
It seems that for critics the real struggle was trying to feel for a sentient robot with human emotions, who learns how to speak and carry himself from a group of South African gangbangers (played wonderfully by the rap crew Die Antwoord).
Unlike Neill Blomkamp’s other films, “District 9” (90 percent on rottentomatoes) and “Elysium” (68 percent “fresh”) the film shows how this one robot struggles with the knowledge that like humans, he will expire. He is intrinsically altruistic but develops a persona through a series of selfish acts with a group of bad people who teach him “how to put people to sleep.”
Despite what critics say, 65 percent of submitted reviews on rottentomatoes.com agree it was worth a watch. While I wouldn’t say this was an Oscar-worthy endeavor for Blomkamp, I do think this was his best work since “District 9” took audiences across the world by surprise.
To conclude, while the action-packed feature film is deeper on multiple levels, it is still a gore-filled rollercoaster that keeps you on the edge of your seat. There is never a dull moment in the film… “Chappie” really delivers. But if you were expecting a film where you learn to love this sentient robot, you’re probably better off watching the indie-flick “Robot and Frank” on Netflix.