Neill Blomkamp was riding high after 2009’s District 9. The sci-fi classic was a smash-hit, going on to pick up an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He followed that up with 2013’s Elysium, which wasn’t quite so successful but was still very enjoyable. Then came Chappie.
The 2015 sci-fi caper is effectively a vehicle for countercultural South African hip hop group Die Antwoord. It was critically panned and didn’t do well at the box office, though wasn’t a huge flop. The story centers on the titular police robot who’s adopted by two gangsters and learns to overcome his programming. The movie also boasts Hugh Jackman as the villainous tight-shorts wearing Vincent Moore, who joins other stars, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver.
I think Chappie is awesome and deserves a reappraisal, though admittedly you need a certain tolerance level for Die Antwoord’s schtick in order for the film not to drive you completely crazy. But now you can decide for yourself, as Chappie will be available to Netflix subscribers from next month.
Blomkamp even said that Chappie may have gotten him booted off his planned Aliens sequel. This project was announced in February 2015, with Chappie hitting theaters in March. By October Blomkamp was off Aliens. In a recent interview with The Guardian, he said:
“It’s possible that Ridley watched Chappie and he was like, this guy can’t do Alien so let’s just go ahead and move on.”
Chappie‘s Netflix release comes as Blomkamp’s newest film Demonic hits theaters. This is currently sitting at a lowly 18% on the Tomatometer, though several high-profile critics have given it positive reviews. Here’s hoping that Blomkamp finds another project worthy of his talents soon – as far as I’m concerned, he hasn’t made a bad movie yet.
Chappie hits Netflix on September 1st.