Film review: CHAPPIE (15, 120 mins)

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Vision of the future with a far from cheeky Chap

South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp, who was Oscar-nominated for the 2009 sci-fi thriller District 9, steps back into the future for this provocative action adventure expanded from his own 2004 short film, Tetra Vaal.

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force.

One police droid, CHAPPiE, is stolen and given new programming by scientist Deon Wilson (Dev Patel).

CHAPPiE (voiced by Sharlto Copley) is given artificial intelligence, and Wilson encourages the automaton to think and feel for itself.

Deon and his inner circle introduce CHAPPiE to art and culture, marvelling at their creation’s ability to ingest and process new information like a new born glimpsing the world for the first time.

Alas, mulleted doomsayer Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) expresses concern about the threat posed to the public by a learning intelligence such as CHAPPiE, and he instigates a bitter war of words and explosive weapons find and to destroy the robot.

Sigourney Weaver co-stars.

Star rating: 6/10