Director: Neill Blomkamp. Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Yo-Landi Visser, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver. 120 min. Rated R. USA/Mexico. Action/Sci-Fi.
A film instructor friend once told me a story rule long ago: if there's a minor character in the story whom the audience's heart beats for ... never kill that character off! Blomkamp's Chappie borrows prohibitively from Robocop, climaxes with concepts from Her and Transcendence, and breaks the above cardinal rule, smashing the audience's heart to smithereens (you know which character, if you've seen the movie). Since Elysium was such a downer, I'm beginning to think Blomkamp is a modern day Shyamalan, whose District 9 was just an accidental masterpiece. Similar to District 9, they've left room for a sequel here.