Originally Published on Salty Popcorn - You Can Find Several Other Reviews By Jack Dignan Here As Well
Based on the long lasting 1977 show of the same name, CHIPS follows the story of two California Highway Patrol Officers, Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherello (Michael Peña). Jon was once a famed motorcycle stunt rider, driving from competition to competition and gaining a substantial number of injuries along the way. It’s a career he’s been forced to put behind him. Instead, he chooses to take on a job as a Highway Patrol Officer, hoping to spark some romantic interest back into his wife of many years, Karen (real-life wife Kristen Bell). His daring approach makes him the oldest rookie in history, and it’s on his first assignment where he is to team up with fellow newbie, Ponch.
Despite having six seasons of material to draw from, CHIPS, from what I hear, instead uses the basic premise of that show and manipulates it into a hard R comedy with little resemblance of what came before. The original show, so the internet tells me, is a family-friendly cop show. This new rendition is far from it. Gross out comedy, excessive nudity and homophobic jokes are aplenty. In case you aren’t already sold on just how classy this movie is, its main reoccurring gag involves several discussions on the current state of ass eating in modern society. God, it pains me to describe that as a gag. A gag implies there’s actually humour behind it, something that’s entirety absent in a film as remarkably incompetent as this one.
On that note though, can we discuss the lead actors for a second? Because goddamn. Michael Peña is a national treasure. That man can bloody act, whether it’s in more comedic roles, such as his scene-stealing sidekick in ANT-MAN, or more dramatic characters, including FURY and END OF WATCH. He’s an actor of immense talent and range, diversifying his film career with each new role. 2017, however, has not been his year. He started out poorly with the Australian release of the god-awful COLLATERAL BEAUTY, which he wasn’t actually bad in, and following that up with CHIPS. His character here, as shallow and uninteresting as he is, receives just one character trait, and that is his obsession with women. Every time he so much as glances at a woman, it’s not too long before he finds himself in a public bathroom masturbating. Yeah.
The history of cinema dates back a great number of years. My experience with the art has spanned but a couple decades. Throughout my findings, it’s always quite the experience watching a truly terrible movie. Not a particularly good experience, but certainly an experience. CHIPS is a rare find. It’s a film that’s inexcusably bad, upsetting every fiber of my body throughout its 100-minute runtime. The actors try to make the material work, and that’s what gains this film an extra half star rating more than it probably deserves, but please, for the love of god, don’t go see this monstrosity of a movie.
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