CHIPS (2017)


Critic Consensus: CHiPS abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show's premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best.


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Dax Shepard (Hit & Run, TV's Parenthood) and Michael Peña (Ant-Man) star in the action comedy CHIPS, directed by Shepard from his own script. Jon Baker (Shepard) and Frank Ponch Poncherello (Peña) 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.

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Dax Shepard
as Jon Baker
Michael Peña
as Frank "Ponch" Poncherello
Adam Brody
as Clay Allen
Jessica McNamee
as Lindsey Taylor
Ryan Hansen
as Brian Grieves
Rosa Salazar
as Ava Perez
Maya Rudolph
as Sgt. Hernandez
Jackie Tohn
as Amy Hansen
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Critic Reviews for CHIPS

All Critics (106) | Top Critics (21)

There are no critic reviews yet for CHIPS. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for CHIPS


Looks like my streak of following up incredible movies with substandard ones continues with this movie, which followed up The Shape of Water which was just a lovely and beautiful movie. This movie has me thinking, has there ever been a truly good movie based on a 70s TV series. The Dukes of Hazzard was pretty terrible, Charlie's Angels weren't good, Starsky and Hutch wasn't great (though probably the best of the bunch) and then there's this movie. You could make the argument that the first Brady Bunch movie might have been fairly good given that it followed a tone similar to the original series. That's not saying that some of these films haven't been successful. They made a sequel to Charlie's Angels and the Starsky and Hutch movie was fairly successful as well. It's just that these films aren't exactly known for their quality and I don't really know why. I think part of the idea, at least in these very specific cases of 70s show, is that they're trying to capture the aesthetic (at least Starsky and Hutch did) of the original series while modernizing the comedy. And, honestly, if you're playing into nostalgia, I think what people who are nostalgic for these shows want is completely different than what the rest of the masses want. And that's why you see these broader attempts at comedy. Because nostalgia can only get you so far. Ask that to Fuller House. I think people were more nostalgic, in the case of Fuller House, for how the show USED to be, not that they necessarily wanted an updated version of it, since they're just trying to forcefully recapture the cheese factor that was essential to a show like Full House. And when you force it, it just doesn't work. I suppose that's neither here nor there, so I get the point that you can't rely on pure nostalgia to carry you across. You need more than that and that's where movies like this are made. Look, I'll say this right out of the gate. I think Michael Pena (I can't type it the way it is on this goddamn laptop) is a really funny man. I think he's a really talented actor overall, but I feel that he really, truly, shines at comedy. Watch movies like 30 Minutes or Less, The War On Everyone (which is darker) and the Ant-Man movies. Michael is a funny fucking dude and I'll vehemently disagree with anyone who says otherwise. And, you know what, I also like Dax Shepard. He's not my favorite comedic actor by any stretch, but he's been solid in everything I've seen him in. And Hit and Run, a movie he also wrote and directed (like this one), was positively underrated. Hit and Run wasn't gonna change the world (and it clearly hasn't), but it was offbeat in a good way and Dax showed some talent as a screenwriter and director. Honestly, I didn't even know he wrote and directed this movie until the credit flashed on-screen that he did, so that was a surprise to me. Having said that, given that I enjoyed Hit and Run and that movie involved car chases, I imagined that that part of the movie would be, at least, good. Shame, however, that the movie ended up being as it was. Here's the thing, and this is with all apologies to everyone who worked hard on this movie, this script feels totally incomplete. Dear Dictator felt exactly the same way as this one. They took one of the first drafts of this movie and decided to film it without any revisions, improvements and/or additions made. I get the feeling that, if this movie had a little more time to cook, it might have actually been fairly decent and maybe even solid. The chemistry between Dax Shepard and Michael Pena is there. But because of the fact that the script is so incomplete and rushed, they have to rely entirely on Dax and Michael to carry the entire movie. But it's a vicious cycle, because Dax and Michael (as good as they may be together) needed a stronger script. But the script isn't strong, so Dax and Michael have to carry the load. You see what I mean??? The movie is incompetent in how it manufactures the bond of friendship that grows between Ponch and Baker. It doesn't feel natural or organic because, up to that point, all they had been doing was arguing, getting into fights, psychoanalyzing each other in the most basic way possible, like they had taken one class of psychology to prepare. And it's not even one full class, more like 30 minutes of a two-hour class. Ponch has a sex addiction. Baker is addicted to pain pills. Let's talk about each others' issues to give off the appearance that there's some actual character development here involved. Honestly, Michael Pena deserves better than this, Rosa Salazar deserves better than this, Jane Kaczmarek deserves better than this. But if there's anyone that deserves better than this more than any one else I just mentioned, it is, in fact, Vincent D'Onofrio. Vincent D'Onofrio, whose talents as an actor are wildly underrated, appeared in this movie and Rings, both were released in the same calendar year. And, honestly, I think I've come to hate comedies that have super serious villains, it's like they're at odds with the tone the movie is going for. Not saying that it can't be pulled off, but there's ways to do it and this movie just doesn't do it well. If your lead characters are jokey-jokey with each other and the villain himself is totally serious, it just doesn't really work that well. I think it worked in a film like, say Thor: Ragnarok, but Taika Waititi knows how to combine both elements because he is immensely talented and, I believe, Marvel gave him the freedom and the time to write the movie he wanted to make, even if he's still working on behalf of Marvel. Dax Shepard wasn't afforded that luxury as I can't assume that this was really that much of a priority for Warner Bros. They just threw the movie out there to sink or swim and, unfortunately, it sank. It sank creatively and, somewhat, financially. I mean it made almost $27 million on a budget of $25 million, so at least they made SOME money back. Again, I can't imagine that this was important, they just wanted to get it over and done with. It doesn't help that the movie is also incredibly unfunny. The first act or so of the movie is bereft of comedy. The other two acts are better, but it's like saying it went from fucking terrible to just bad. It's not an improvement. It's an improvement if you think eating shit is preferable to eating rusty nails. I'm not gonna lower my standards for this movie, it doesn't deserve it. That's why they rely on the lowest common denominator gags to make the 'attempt' to mine some laughs out of this. They hope that the raunchiness of some of the scenes is enough to make up for the fact that there is absolutely nothing to this movie. Michael and Dax are decent but, as I mentioned earlier, the script literally gives them nothing to work with. The story is dull and just a way to justify more lowbrow gags. In short, this is just a bad movie that really had no hope of amounting to anything of value. Surprised they didn't go with showing the gag reel during the credits, giving off the idea that the movie was funnier than it was. I can guaran-damn-tee you that the gag reel is considerably funnier than this movie. This isn't always a bad thing, because I'm certain that gag reels for movies like Hamlet are funnier than the movie itself. Though, to be fair, Hamlet isn't meant to be a comedy. And this isn't always the case for films meant to be comedies either, as there are ways that a movie can make up for not being hilarious, whether it's through character development, acting and strong scripting, a comedy doesn't need to be hilarious to be good. But, that's the thing, this 'comedy' isn't hilarious and it's certainly not good. If you loved the original CHiPs then stay away, since this will only tarnish that show's legacy, if it had one to begin with.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

Dax Shepard and Michael Peña star in the buddy cop comedy CHIPS. When a California Highway Patrol officer is killed by a band of robbers the FBI sends in an undercover agent to bring them down; but first he'll have to learn to get along with his fastidious rookie partner. Shepard and Peña have good comedic chemistry and give solid performances. However, the film goes a little overboard with the crude sexual and gross-out humor. And the plot is pretty formulaic and hits a lot of the usual tropes and clichés of cop films. CHIPS delivers some laughs, but ends up being generic and overly raunchy.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Looking at the other reviews and it's like I saw another movie, a decent buddy cop movie that uses an old premise as the set-up = standard Hollywood fare. Not Citizen Kane, but no reason for the ugly ragging this got. Shepard and Pena know their stuff and deliver the goods: some laughs, some action, some explosions, some booty. What's wrong with that?

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

[i]'chip happens'[/i]...really? Yeah this one tagline should sum this entire movie up for anyone, if it doesn't I dunno, wow! So [i]CHiPs[/i] was a light-hearted American police drama based around the Californian Highway Patrol that ran from 1977 to 1983. These guys patrolled the highways of California on their rather slick looking police motorbikes complete with cool looking uniforms and shades. The duo were young, good looking, slim, wore tight uniforms and looked dashing on their bikes, twas all about that baby. Essentially this was a TV show for young lads who looked up to cops or wanted to be cops (big change from the present day huh) and enjoyed cool vehicles. The late 70's to mid 80's was full of these types of cool shows featuring cool vehicles and stuff. [i]The Dukes of Hazzard[/i] gave the youngsters a cool muscle car to ogle at. [i]Airwolf[/i] had an ultra cool all black helicopter. [i]Starsky & Hutch[/i] had another cool muscle car. [i]The A-Team[/i] had a cool looking van and lots of plosions. [i]Knight Rider[/i] had a seriously cool all black, talking secret agent car. [i]CHiPS[/i] was basically the same type of thing but it offered cool looking motorbikes. What I found disappointing about this movie was the simple fact that they try to do exactly what almost every other movie adaptation of these cult shows has done. Firstly they have made it an adult movie with adult content. Secondly its a comedy bordering on spoof of the franchise. And thirdly the main characters aren't actually doing the job of the original characters, they are using the positions as cover or just starting off. Yes I know they are trying to revamp the idea for the present day and yes I know they are also trying to add a fresh element. But these angles have been done before, this isn't new or clever. So the movie is actually quite violent and chock full of profanity and sexual/toilet humour. Yes I'm sure the teens may like this (maybe) but talk about alienating the core fanbase that maybe wanted to see something a bit more sensible for Pete's sake. Not only that but as I've already stated the original show was quite a light-hearted affair with little violence, so this movie has completely rejected that. Maybe a more lighter approach might have worked guys, you know instead of poo, cock, ass, drug use, masturbation gags. I mean for Christs sake! Ponch (Michael Peña) is a sex addict in this movie, every time he sees female ass he has to go jerk off. Is that the best you can do with this material?? Jon Baker is played by the director & writer, Dax Shepard (gives himself the lead role huh), and boy he is bad. Apart from trying to look and sound like Owen Wilson (seriously the hair was a dead give away), this guy can't act, he's not funny, the hair just looks weird...almost like a wig, and he constantly goes around trying to show off his all the bloody time! Not only that but his uniform is clearly custom made to look as tight as possible to try and emphasis that. Peña's uniform looks normal, Shepard's looks like its bordering on skintight...yet he has no real physique. But seriously this guy was cringeworthy all the way through, a complete hit and miss mate, stick to...well actually just quit. Obviously the plot surrounds trying to catch some criminals (robbers) and obviously there is a twist involved, not that you care because the movie tells you straight away. Baker is an ex-freestyle motocross racer so that inevitably means we'll be getting some ridiculously over the top bike stunts later on down the line. His body is also wrecked from all the injuries sustained from that previous profession so there is this subplot about him having to take tonnes of medication all the time. Didn't really catch on with that but without his painkillers his body locks up or whatever, I dunno. Basically it means that Ponch has to help him into the bath tub naked at one point because hilarity! Cue cock and balls in partners face visual gag. The movie clearly has a deal with Chevrolet because that's what all the main characters drive, its so fucking obvious. Towards the midway point the duo realise their bikes aren't fast enough so they ditch them and, of course, get super fast modern bikes. Yep they both get a new sexy full body leather biker uniforms complete with police insignia; and two red hot motorbikes also with police insignia. Its at this point that the entire movie concept goes out the window and it could literally be anything. Just two leather clad stuntmen on turbo charged bikes, looking über cool and performing boring meaningless stunts. This has to be one of the most lazy, mundane and pointless movies I've seen for some time. This falls into the [i]xXx[/i] category of utter garbage of the highest order. I can't even say the action was good because it wasn't, in fact there was hardly any action at all. What you do get is so flippin' dull its really quite amazing. You have a movies essentially about fast motorbikes and you fail to make it thrilling...or even look good??!! The humour was dreadful whilst the violence profanity and gore was completely unnecessary. Shepard shouldn't have been cast and actors like Peña and Vincent D'Onofrio embarrass themselves. Almost the entire movie is just a series of setups for lame gags later on down the line, which you can see a mile off.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

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