Chucky is back in a reboot of the fan-favourite 80’s slasher Child’s Play.
When a disgruntled toy maker adjusts the programming of a Buddi doll, a toy with artificial intelligence, making it vulgar and violent, the doll finds it’s way to Andy who it then imprints on, forming an unbreakable ‘best friend’ bond. ‘Chucky’, as the figure is soon named, will do anything to keep Andy from harm, even kill.
First of all, I don’t think we needed a reboot of the Chucky franchise, with a sequel to the original released as recently as 2 years ago. And it wasn’t bad! But having a reboot tag, does give a film more justification for theatrical release I suppose, which at the very least I was glad to see it on the big screen. And they have updated Chucky to present times, making him a smart device. But it’s this technological angle that I think hurts the film the most.
So in the original, Brad Dourif’s serial killer maniac, Charles Lee Ray’s soul is banished into the body of a doll through voodoo magic. Yeah, this does sound lame by today’s standards, but it did give the murderous Chucky doll’s motivations justification. Here in the 2019 reboot, Chucky is a robot, just following it’s programming. I don’t mind this approach, if you’re going to go full Terminator and have him carry out his ‘duties’ with no remorse or feelings. But they try to play it off like Chucky feels and that’s where it loses me. By making Chucky AI, it lacks the psycho glee that was delivered in the original.
Mark Hamill voicing Chucky this time around was a big selling point for me, but unfortunately I felt his voice acting came across a bit lame, and again, Chucky is a robot! Why is there so much emotion in his voice? Programmed emotion I guess, but it just seems very convenient.
Although the motivation may not gel for me, Chucky seems to be killing people just for the sake of it as the movie progresses, when he is killing, it is a lot of fun. The death scenes are brutal and creative. What I think they’ve lacked in the tension department, they make up for in unadulterated gore.
I’m rather disappointed with the Child’s Play reboot. One dimensional characters and motivations ultimately cheapen the final product, and when I’ve entered the movie with pretty low expectations, and they couldn’t even be met, something has gone terribly wrong. Even though the Chucky movies are kind of making fun of the generic and formulaic slasher genre, Child’s Play (2019) falls comfortably into that bin of forgettable trash.
2/5 Stars – A Flawed Watch