To what extent does Charlie 13 represent a hopeful or a bleak future? How you answer this may depend on whether you see Charlie, and the resistance he represents, as a genuine alternative to the social and technological forces at work in this future society.
I didn’t really see Charlie as having much personal autonomy at all: he was carrying around so much baggage from his dysfunctional past, and so much expectation from his dysfunctional present, that it was almost impossible to resist. When he expressed his unhappiness at being chipped by trying to run away, he was pinned down and the chipping took place anyway.
His choice was resistance by running away, chopping out the chip (did he have to chop off a fingertip? Or was it just an incision and removal?) This is often the only alternative for those caught up in dystopian presents in film and literature – resistance has to go underground. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; Orwell’s 1984; the Star Wars franchise.