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‘CHiPs’ (review)

Produced by Ravi D. Mehta, Dax Shepard,
Andrew Panay, Rick Rosner
Written and Directed by Dax Shepard
Based on CHiPs by Rick Rosner
Starring Dax Shepard, Michael Peña,
Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Brody,
Rosa Salazar, Vida Guerra, Kristen Bell


Dax Shepard must be a really, really nice guy.

Somehow he not only got the unnecessary, but long gestating reboot of the Seventies television series made, but he also wrangled many familiar faces into the film which he not only starred in, but also wrote, directed and produced.

Unfortunately, Shepard forgot to make the film particularly engaging, or bluntly, good.

There’s not enough of anything to set it apart.  It’s not that funny.  It’s not that action packed.  It just is.

And although that’s serviceable, it’s not enough to actually make it an improvement over a 40 year old dated television series.

In an attempt to give the film some depth, Shepard not only abandoned the concept of the series, but also replaced it with a cliché filled series of scenes that add up to the same formula that audiences have seen again and again.

This time, Ponch (Peña) isn’t even Ponch.  He’s an undercover agent sent to infiltrate the California Highway Patrol to solve a series of heists and an unusual suicide that are believed to be executed by a cabal of corrupt cops.  Ponch is teamed up with former extreme sports star Baker (Shepard), a rookie to the force.  They eventually earn mutual respect and discover that the bad guy happens to be Lt. Raymond Kurtz (D’Onofrio), which comes as no surprise from the moment he appears on screen.

Filled with plenty of dated homophobic jokes, retreaded plot points, plenty of cameos and my personal pet peeve, the lack of utilizing the original theme music in the climax, CHiPs joins the ever-growing list of unnecessary and uninspired television to film adaptations that will soon be found on the streaming service of your choice.



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