This trailer for Neil Blomkamp's CHAPPIE is (not quite) a new step in evolution

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Let’s face it: Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium was disappointing. After the massive critical and commercial success of District 9, the ex-pat filmmaker fumbled with a sophomore effort that was way too heavy-handed and infantile with its politics.

At this point in time, we don’t know whether Blomkamp’s third film, Chappie, will rectify that, but thanks to this new trailer we now know that it at least has Wolverine remote controlling a flying ED-209 to fight a robot Wikus Swart with an emoticon face designed by a Slumdog Millionaire while Ninja and Yolandi Vi$$er shoot at people with AK-47’s. And it sure looks cool. If a little derivative though.

I’m definitely getting a Robocop vibe from this, and I’m not just talking about the aforementioned visual similarities to Robocop’s first stairs-hating antagonist or the robo-dismemberment with power tools. There’s also a Short Circuit element here, with even Chappie’s speech patterns going a bit “Johnny no. 5”. And then there’s the trailer’s music. Is it just me, or am I hearing some very similar motifs to Brad Fiedel’s theme for The Terminator?

All that being said though, Blomkamp is without a doubt a talented enough filmmaker to not just make this work, but make it incredibly engaging despite the air of genre familiarity. And besides, this is just a trailer, the final film could still veer wildly from some of the more familiar tropes we’re seeing here.

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.

Chappie stars Sharlto Copley as the titular robot and also co-stars Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver and Die Antwoord, It scheduled for release internationally on March 6, 2015. Locally we’ll have to wait an extra week to March 13, 2015.

Last Updated: January 12, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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