“CHiPs” is a movie remake of the TV show that first aired in 1977, a show my grandfather watched about California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers who solve cases. It wasn’t the greatest show back then, and sitting in that dark, cold, buttery popcorn-filled movie theater, it is even worse.
Dax Shepard, who wrote the screenplay, plays Jon Baker, a once aspiring police officer turned Los Angeles Highway Patrol officer who is trying to put his marriage back together. He is ridiculously pleased with finally making it on to the force after multiple tries, and takes pride in wearing his brand-spanking new brown uniform — so much so that he never takes it off. Ticket happy and with siren overbearing, he even tickets a robbery victim for not having license plates on her new car. Baker is partnered up with Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, played by Michael Peña, an arrogant, undercover FBI agent who is trying to find a crooked cop within the department. Peña is cocky, angry and not the “traditional” type of partner one would think of. He also has an obsession with women in yoga pants — each time he sees one, he crashes his bike. Yep, that’s the type of humor we are dealing with.
Ponch tries to keep Jon out of his investigation, but, big surprise, ends up needing his help.
The movie is horrible. It telegraphs its plot twists big time, the humor is child-like and it didn’t keep my attention. The best thing about the movie is it is relatively short, at just an hour and 41 minutes, so one doesn’t waste a whole evening.
The script was so unoriginal that one can easily guess what is next. I could not figure out if the script that was terrible or if the actors in this supposed comedy-action were making it terrible. And where was the action? OK, so, one or two cars blow up, but it wasn’t thrilling. And it was not funny. Some parts did make me giggle, such as when Ponch gets slapped in the face by Jon’s junk — which in itself tells you the level of the humor. The acting is like bad barbeque — overdone and dry.
As a crime-based movie, “CHiPs” doesn’t do anyone any justice.
“CHiPs” is rated R.