“Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) have joined the California Highway Patrol for very different reasons. Baker, the rookie, is a beaten-up pro motorbiker trying save his marriage. Ponch, a tough cop with a weakness for women in yoga pants, is an undercover FBI agent investigating heists that may be inside jobs. With Jon’s bike skills joined with Ponch’s street savvy, this mismatched pair might just work… if they don’t drive each other crazy first.”
When a team of criminals begin a spree of armored car robberies, an FBI agent is sent undercover to the California Highway Patrol, posing as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, to investigate possible ties to an inside job. Ponch is assigned a rookie partner, Jon Baker, who has failed every test imaginable except for riding a motorcycle, but thanks to the magic of poor writing, still manages to make it on the force. Eager to prove himself to his team, Baker does his best to write tickets for insignificant infractions while Ponch uses their time to investigate leads on the robberies.
Almost by accident, Baker makes an interesting observation that gets Ponch thinking, enough to bring him into the fold and confessing that he is a FBI agent and they are going to find the people responsible for the robberies. Not knowing who to trust, Baker and Ponch dive head-first into trying to find the evidence to put away their suspect, who isn’t going to come quietly.
It’s always interesting when you hear Hollywood has decided to resurrect an old, classic TV Show to make into a movie. There is, of course, a wealth of source material for television shows to call upon, and in the case of CHiPs, six seasons worth. With that almost inexhaustible amount of story, it makes sense they would abandon everything and create one of the most juvenile films imaginable.
Where classic television reboots have been successful, such as 21 Jump Street, CHIPS manages to fail in every way possible. Dax Shepard, who I really enjoyed on Parenthood, writes and directs this travesty, which misses the mark on every comedic gag and joke he sets up. While we get to listen to Baker and Ponch bicker like adolescent children for over an hour, we are also subjected to countless homophobic jokes, and tired gags such as paparazzi being run over and no one cares, and some guy with a selfie-stick being hit by a motorcycle. The humor is so juvenile it almost certainly alienates any fan of the original show, and appeals only to pre-teens, who wouldn’t even be able to see it because of the vulgar and graphic content that doesn’t garner any laughs whatsoever, thus serves no purpose.
The characters, despite being poorly written, are not likeable in the least. From the weird sex addiction and child-like behavior of Ponch, to the clumsy, injury prone Baker who wants to save his marriage, but is so ignorant to everything around him that isn’t a motorcycle he is too blind to see that it isn’t possible, yet still declares his desire to every person he meets. This seems like an excuse for Shepard, who is a motorcycle nut in real life, to get paid to partake in his hobby and slap on the title of the first established source material involving motorcycles he could to dupe the studios to pay for it all. Well, they fell for it, and it was a costly mistake.
CHIPS is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen 1.85:1.The transfer looks really good, with bright and crisp colors that highlight the action of the film well, including some very intense chase scenes that inevitably end up as huge explosions. Color balance is exceptional, and no defects were noticed in the film.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The track utilizes the full use of the surrounds, with lots of intense action sequences, explosions and gun battles. This is all well balanced with the dialogue so you never have a hard time hearing the terrible dialogue despite the revving of the motorcycle engines. The score is actually one of the best things about the film. There are some really great choices for songs that they used. Although some may be questionably placed in the film, it is still fun to hear them, and allow some of the action scenes to be stomached a bit more easily.
- This is Not Your Dad’s CHiPs – Director/star Dax Shepard shares his cockeyed inspiration for amping up the TV classic, heads straight for the action with the film’s badass stunt vehicle rigging team, then salivates all over CHIPS’ signature Ducati.
- 10 Deleted Scenes
CHIPS may have found an audience in a younger crowd, but for anyone who is a fan of the original, or a fan of comedy in general, skip it.