This week Chappie hits theaters, but reception has not been positive. I have not seen it yet, so can’t comment on it. But what has surprised me is how people are already doubting Neill Blomkamp and whether he should direct the next movie in the Alien franchise. I have various opinions regarding Blomkamp’s films and the Alien films, but I believe it is too early in his career to assume he is not a capable and talented director.
I am one of the only people I know that did not like District 9 very much. I have asked many people and they have all liked it. I saw it late at night in a cheap theater, and ended up falling asleep briefly during the beginning. When I woke up, I watched the rest of the movie bored and uninterested. I would like to try watching it again in a better setting to see if my opinion will change. I did however like Elysium, which is not liked by as much people. Not having seen Chappie, I think Blomkamp is a very talented filmmaker that challenges his self with creating original ideas and utilizing great special effects. He may not have a perfect batting average, but I believe he is the right choice for the Aliens sequel.
Like most, I enjoy the first two Alien films and pretend the other two don’t exist. That is one reason I like Blomkamp as director. There is no where to go but up. Especially now, there will not be incredibly high expectations for it, and he will have a chance to surprise a lot of people. There is definitely more story to tell, and from what I’ve heard about Blomkamp and Sigourney Weaver on the set of Chappie, I have a feeling they have something really good planned for it.
Blomkamp has also been public about how he is a big fan of the Alien franchise. This bodes well in my mind because he will make and see it through the same eyes we will; as a fan. He’ll make sure that not only is it a good film, but a film that a fan will like too. It’s the same with Star Wars, JJ Abrams is a huge fan of those movies, making a movie as a fan and a filmmaker. I trust his judgment in that if he thinks he has made a good movie, then it actually will be.
He is very much aware of the movies he makes too. He fully admits he messed up on Elysium. The story wasn’t fully developed and he tried his best to work with what he had. I give him props that not only did he realize the problems his film had, but had the guts to admit them publicly. He can use that as a learning experience for his upcoming films, making sure they are worthy of being released. However, his film after that seems to be even worse, so I don’t know what happened with that. Apparently there were conflicts between Blomkamp and some of the cast and other problems throughout. I’m sure there are things he needs to change, but I also know he is fully aware of that.
I heard someone say that he could be the next M Night Shyamalan, where he makes one hugely popular film and a bunch of duds after that. That is a premature overstatement. One, he has decades of less than average films while Blomkamp has three total. I doubt any of those are as bad as some of Shyamalan’s are. Secondly, Blomkamp is a superior storyteller already, and has a unique visual style to compliment that. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but he has a long way to go before he reaches Shyamalan levels of movies.
Not being overly impressed with Blomkamp’s movies yet, I have tremendous respect for him as a filmmaker. He creates original content, with heavy social implications and commentary. His films have more meaning than the average mainstream movie, and has already created a name for himself. Every director has a bad movie or two. To every Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, there’s a Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I think Blomkamp and Weaver will do justice to a great franchise, bringing new ideas and stories to improve it. One film should not ruin a career, and Blomkamp won’t be ruined by his latest.