Perhaps inventive director Neill Blomkamp is just better suited to the strange, bizarre and slightly off-kilter. His directorial debut “District 9” was a terrific blast of fresh air in the sci-fi genre, melding comedy (an excellent bumbling lead) with political commentary and thrills. “District 9” seemed to be a perfect storm of the sensibilities that made Blomkamp unique. But the director was definitely far less successful with “Elysium,” an action sci-fi thriller that was much too humorless and far too obvious with its politics; it’s as if Hollywood boxed him in with something that felt a little too straightforward and simple. Even the casting of Matt Damon as a reluctant hero seemed a little too uncomplicated for Blomkamp.
If you want the weirdness back, you’ll only get some of it with “Chappie,” a sci-fi tale about an A.I. robot who seems to come of age. Here’s the official synopsis:
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.
The cast is pretty eclectic for this one. Sharlto Copley, South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord— Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er— Dev Patel, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman are among the players.
“Chappie” is due in theaters March 6, 2015. Watch the trailer below, along with the new video for Die Antwoord’s “Ugly Boy” directed by Ninja.