Movie Reviews with Karl: Chappie Marigold Hotel
Karl Taro Greenfeld reviews movies without seeing them. He watches trailers, or parts of the trailers. (If the movie is a sequel, he has not seen any earlier films in the series. He basically doesn’t watch any movies. Any plot similarities between his reviews and the actual movies are coincidental.)
In 2016, the first robotic police units are deployed, and there are immediate issues as they don’t detain and kill unarmed African-Americans at anything like the rate their human predecessors did. “The problem with artificial intelligence,” says Hugh Jackman, “Is it’s way too unpredictable.” Police commissioner Sigourney Weaver orders the robotic police units retired, and has Hugh Jackman build Gundam-style police units, similar to the exoskeleton Caterpillar Power Loader that Weaver wore in Aliens III. The new units are deployed, and with their human brains as the operating systems, they resume detaining and killing unarmed minorities with even greater efficiency.
However, one of the scientists—the guy from The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel—who worked on the robotic police units is heart-broken by the turn away from artificial intelligence. “What interests me is a machine who can think and feel,” he says. In a moving van/recording studio, along with the two members of Die Antwoord, he builds a new robot, using scraps from the discarded police robots, old Technics turntables, and 70s era glass head bongs. Chappie is a friendly, sweet robot who paints, dances, smokes weed, eats Molly and can DJ a little; he quickly joins Die Antwoord as a hype robot, dancing on the side of the stage sort of like Baz from the Happy Mondays. The guy from Marigold is ecstatic, but when he brings his breakthrough to the attention of Sigourney Weaver, she asks if Chappie can be taught to arrest African-Americans at a rate higher than human police. When she finds out Chappie doesn’t see race, she becomes furious: “Burn it to ash!”
Hugh Jackman dons his exoskeleton combat suit and sets off to destroy Chappie. But so popular has Chappie become in the urban electronic music scene, that the community rises up to defend Chappie from the Hugh Jackman-led exoskeleton combat suits. The violence is shocking to Chappie, who—disgusted with humanity and fried from too much MDMA—dons flame thrower and gattling gun to fight off the police. While he succeeds in saving the guy from Marigold and Die Antwoord from the exoskeleton suits, he also realizes that humanity is truly awful when you are not on MDMA.
Chappie leaves the urban electronic music scene and applies to business school.
Chappie is a film for those who think robots are racist.
The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel
The guy from Chappie has a problem, his hotel is so popular that regular guests who book a series of suites every year and host a senior-citizen polyamory convention have decided to lodge elsewhere. Desperate to keep this repeat business, he opens another hotel, and while the sexy old geezers come flocking back, so too does a cunning, tough American businesswoman, Jane Fonda, who convinces the guy from Chappie’s mother to sell the hotel, which she intends to turn into a fracking site.
As much as the Chappie guy wants to save his family’s hotel, he is also in love with Mia Khalifa, the daughter of a rival hotelier whose properties tend to be more boutiquey. The guy from Chappie romances Khalifa, and there is undeniable passion between them, but her father will only allow a marriage to a fellow hotelier—which Chappie guy may not be for long!
Chappie guy urges Jane Fonda to stay in the hotel, for just one night, so that she can understand the mysterious sexual power of the hotel. Jane Fonda checks in, and while she had long believed she had lost the ability to love, she rediscovers her own sexuality amid the wild coupling going on under the Marigold Hotel’s tiled roof. ( Helen Mirren and Judi Dench engage in a threesome with Bill Nye; Richard Gere seduces Chappie guys’ mother; and Maggie Smith invents a new line of edible sex toys, which she hopes to sell in the hotel gift shop.) Yet while Jane Fonda herself is titillated by the erotic goings on, there is no one to satisfy her own urgings. Desperate, the Chappie guy hires a male prostitute, former Paksitani cricketer Imran Kahn, who not only reawakens the woman in Jane Fonda, but also proposes to her.
Jane Fond now totally gets the whole Marigold shag-palace-for-older-folks marketing hook and instead of buying it, proposes to partner in expanding it globally.
Chappie guy and Mia Khalifa can now get married in a spectacular Bollywood musical number.
The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel is an important film in that it reminds us that great brands can be built by catering to often ignored demographics.