Reviewed bybkrauser-81-311064Vote: 5/10/10
Remember 21 Jump Street (2012)? Boy that was a fun movie. In many waysit was the perfect meta-commentary of the type of low-stakes, low-rent,low-brow crap Hollywood has been throwing at us recently like chimps ina mismanaged zoo. Literally anything and I mean anything with even amodicum of franchise potential is being made and remade and remadeagain these days. Thus when 21 Jump Street (based on a soapycheap-looking TV show) reared its ugly head, I for one was clenchingfor an awful night at the cinema.
In many ways I was expecting something like Chips, i.e. anill-conceived, aged and offensive grotesquery that at best is a watereddown version of literally everything you've already seen. Remember allthose completely forgetful Martin Lawrence clones that were hammeredout one-by-one in the early 2000's? Me neither; how about those equallyforgettable Kevin Hart movies? Okay, getting warmer. Well imagine thatplus a big fat layer of tepid, lazy direction and you got the basicingredients for what should honestly be renamed "Bullchips." Chips wasdirected, written and stars Dax Shepard who you may remember as thedude in Without a Paddle (2004) who was not Matthew Lillard or SethGreen. Here he plays Jon Baker, an over-the-hill Motocross athlete who,according to co-star Michael Pena, is "always two-beers too familiar."He's the typical California "dude" who's far too self-involved tonotice he's a walking, talking stereotype. Or at least he is until thescript asks him not to be.
Speaking of stereotypes, Michael Pena takes the place of therambunctious Erik Estrada as Poncherello. In this universe he's anundercover FBI Agent searching for dirty cops, stolen loot andCalifornia dimes willing to give it up to the "Ponch". While it's easyto say Pena is the best part of this movie; saying that would be likecomplimenting the only cylinder firing on a broken motor.
Chips is based off the famed 1970's TV show which ran from 1977 until1983. As you would expect from something that hasn't been figurativelyopened since the 70's, this film is a festering gob of unrecognizablegunk. The police procedural portions of the film are rote and redundantwhile the duo-building moments of banter reek, of awkwardness andfragile male egoisms that haven't been funny since the ReaganAdministration. Yet there they are, on the screen just beggingaudiences to laugh as Baker and Ponch discuss at length the preferenceand frequency of night-long a**-licking.
Aside from the film's boorish leads, Chips has a hard timecommunicating who or what we should actually care about. The audienceis made aware of who our bad guys are long before our leads do, yet thefilm goes through so many airless, dimensionless minutes trying to coaxour heroes in the right direction. Then the film goes into fruitlessavenues to play out juvenile bits for the sake of little or noinformation pertinent to the story. Then, to add insult to injury theyflip through a Highway Patrol database and randomly point to their badguy because of nothing more than a mean look.
It gets worse. Shepard's Baker for example takes a lot in stride Hiswife's obvious infidelity, his advanced age, Ponch's bathroom habitsetc. He takes it all in stride with the exception of his work which hetakes on with the vigor of a newly endowed meter maid. It's supposed tobe a reoccurring joke yet because the movie is so shoddily edited thereare so many, either setups that are never executed or comedic payoffsthat seem to come out of nowhere. Then they simply drop it in favor ofPonch's romance, I guess with a fellow officer (Bock)? Through all themired, half-realized nonsense, only one thing remains clear Chips wastrying, trying to follow the exact same playbook as 21 Jump Street. Yetwhile 21 Jump had the rare quality of being reliably absurd andself-referential, this thing is just a vulgar, incompetent mess withlittle worthwhile to say other than "watch out for yoga pants!"
Reviewed bytdrishVote: 4/10/10
I was looking forward to a movie being made for the hit TV show CHIPSfor a long time, and fast forward to 2017...the wait is over, it'sfinally happened. It's here! CHIPS is a major motion picture! Oh, wait,major? How is anything coming from Dax anything major? This movie is ahollow, shallow, damn near UNWATCHABLE film to date. The best scenes ofthe movie are clearly in the trailer. The rest of the movie? Picture anentire train without any train tracks, and try to picture it trying tomove. Doesn't work, eh? Neither does anything in this movie. Thecasting was bad, there is absolutely no story ( I'm not kidding, thereis NOTHING to see here), and the film was incredibly boring. The hourand forty minute running time, it's going to feel like over 2 hours,trust me...this film was that boring. Unnecessary violence, unnecessarynudity, and unnecessary shootings...makes a very unnecessary movie tobe made. If you're going to do it, do it right, dammit! I like Dax, buthe was out of his league on this one...he's the same age as me, he wasborn in the 70's, he didn't live through it! If anyone is entitled tomake a film after a beloved show, it should be done by someone who willbe faithful to the adaption of the series, and who can argue with that?I actually got distracted after an hour of this atrocious waste oftime, and was more entertained with the cheerful baby sitting in theseat with her parent next to me...it reminded me of the "Baby Food"episode from the TV show CHIPS, and actually made me sad of how badwe've steered off the Hollywood track. I appreciate and love classicTV, it should be respected, and if crap like this keeps slippingthrough the ass cracks of Hollywood itself, I'm done going to the showaltogether. Thumbs down, Dax...next time, let's see if Kristen Bell isa little better with the writing and directing.
Reviewed byDavid Ferguson (firstname.lastname@example.org)Vote: 3/10/10
Greetings again from the darkness. In a Hollywood self-congratulatoryworld that considers sequels, reboots and remakes as creative projects;and imitation as the most sincere form of flattery not to mention thesafest hedged bet it's not in the least surprising that we now have afilm version of "CHiPs", a lightweight and popular TV show that ranfrom 1977 through 1983. What should be surprising is that a studioentrusted Dax Shepard with the ultimate slash role ofDirector/Writer/Producer/Actor for this contemporary version.
Of course, as with film versions of "21 Jump Street" and "Starsky andHutch", the target audience isn't really those who watched the originalTV series, but rather the group of big-spending millennials who seem tothrive on raunchy humor, while placing minimal value on a coherent orinteresting story. Buddy cop films that blend tense drama,wise-cracking partners and eye-widening action have long been popular,with the jewel of the genre being Lethal Weapon. This latest entry doesnothing to threaten the now 30 year reign of Mel Gibson and DannyGlover.
Dax Shepard stars in his own film as Jon Baker, now reinvented as aformer X-games motorcycle champ who is attempting to save hislong-fizzled marriage by becoming a cop. The rookie's partner isundercover FBI Agent Frank "Ponch" Poncherello played by Michael Pena.Each has their own personal issues: Jon is addicted to prescriptionpainkillers, and Ponch struggles to control certain urges andunfortunately for viewers, the two spend an inordinate amount of timediscussing these issues.
The crime wave they are attempting to bust involves a corrupt cop.Seeing that Vincent D'Onofrio is in the cast immediately takes away anymystery about the bad guy's identity, but were there any doubt, thefilm exposes him in the first action sequence. After that comes theonslaught of verbal sparring, explosions, gunplay and one especiallygory moment.
With Dax Shepard at the helm, we understand going in that the raunchyhumor faucet will be fully open. Topics covered in one-liners, gags andrecurring themes include: homophobia, sexting, masturbating, bowelmovements, marriage therapy, d**k jokes, prescription drugs, paparazzi,and yoga pants. But seriously, how many "eating a**" jokes does onemovie need? It's a topic that goes from uncomfortable to unnecessarypretty quickly.
Cars and bikes are vital here, though it seems that the motorcyclestunts could have been jazzed up a bit, and we certainly expected morecameos than the mandatory one near the end. The original series thrivedon being 'tongue in cheek', and Mr. Shepard's version brings newmeaning to the phrase. The opening credits state "The CaliforniaHighway Patrol does not endorse this film. At all." It's anunderstandable stance.
Jon Baker (Shepard) and Frank Ponch Poncherello (Pe?a) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles, but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten-up former pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job-inside the CHP. The inexperienced rookie and the hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kick-starting a real partnership is easier said than done. But with Baker's unique bike skills and Ponch's street savvy it might just work...if they don't drive each other crazy first.