Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie was pretty thrilling when we first saw it: An adorable robot grows up and learns to become like people. It’s like Bicentennial Man, but with more firebombs and a better director. The new trailer, though, gives us more of a sense of the scope. And also what a jerk Hugh Jackman is in this movie.
Actually, the RoboCop parallels are a little distracting. Jackman plays a guy with a pet military project, namely a giant robot that he controls with his mind. And it looks like this:
Meanwhile, the first robot introduced by a large corporation goes rogue and learns to be more human thanks to a scientist and a bunch of loveable underdogs. There’s even a police strike, of sorts, albeit it’s because Hugh Jackman shuts down all the “scouts”, of which Chappie is a member. The trailer even ends with Chappie asserting his basic humanity.
Of course, the details are a little different. For one thing, the thrust of the plot is much clearer, beyond Chappie being adorable and misunderstood: He’s a police robot, one of thousands enforcing the peace in South Africa. And if the police robots can learn to think, feel, and act independently, well, that’s probably not going to be a good thing. Similarly, it appears to raise the question of whether we should rely on robots in situations where a judgement more complicated than Y/N is involved.
We’ll get a chance to see what Neil Blomkamp is up to soon enough: Chappie arrives March 6th.