Writer/director Neill Blomkamp has had a short but inconsistent career in feature films, debuting with the out-of-nowhere sci-fi story District 9 but struggling with follow-ups Elysium and Chappie. Alien franchise star Sigourney Weaver takes issue with the critical disappointment in Blomkamp’s last film, which she calls “a very meaningful movie” in a short interview with our own Perri Nemiroff.
While Perri was prepping to chat with Weaver about all things Alien while at Comic-Con, the Oscar-nominated actress took the opportunity to launch into a passionate defense of Chappie, along with her writer/director collaborator Blomkamp. The two will be working together on an untitled Aliens sequel, commonly referred to as Aliens 5. It’s good to know Weaver’s got her director’s back, but you can let us know in the comments whether or not you think the criticism is warranted. Our own Matt Goldberg gave it a C+ in his review due to Blomkamp’s shallow exploration of otherwise interesting ideas, while it also landed on Perri’s Top 10 Films of 2015.
Here’s what Weaver had to say about Chappie and Blomkamp:
“I’m astonished when I read the, ‘disappointing Chappie.’ If you’re expecting a big movie with huge special effects instead of this small movie about this robot who the inventor changes to be more of a human being than the human beings, then you realize that all of those reviews that said, ‘Well, there’s no special effects…’ It’s like … no. This is a very meaningful movie about a young robot who cares and feels, and is much more human. And they didn’t talk about any of the issues, they just talked about what it wasn’t.
It’s like … dudes, think of what it is! See it without these expectations. A director is allowed to make all kinds of movies, right? Jim Cameron went on to make Avatar. And Chappie had to happen, because now he’s on to The Gone World and then Alien 5. Thank God he made Chappie! Chappie was the movie he needed to make. And I really love the movie, I love it. I love all the actors and everything.”
In addition to the praise for Blomkamp and Chappie, you might have notice Weaver apparently confirming that the writer/director’s involved with The Gone World. The last we heard of his connection to that film was late in 2015 when Blomkamp was in talks for the project. Unfortunately, we still don’t have any further plot details on the film beyond it being “a sci-fi time travel procedural,” but it’s good to know that Blomkamp continues to get opportunities. If you haven’t done so yet, take some time to revisit his films so far in order to get an idea of what might be in store for Weaver and fans if/when Alien 5 gets made.