Movie, Reviews

“CHIPS” Rude, Crude and Unglued

 

Rude, crude, extremely silly and violent the movie CHIPS has all of this and more. But, what you would expect from this parody of a TV series that won the hearts of millions in the mid 1970’s to early 80’s? A lot more than a lame remake. Billed as a crime drama, it’s more of a comedy with messy direction and over the top ridiculousness. I can go one step further; “CHIPS” was never a campy offensive show that relied on sex gags and stupidity to get laughs. That said, only go see it if you crave movies like Hot Tub Time Machine, Get Him to the Greek or Sex Drive to name a few.

A screw up at the Miami FBI office finds sex addict FBI Agent Frank “Ponch” Poncherello getting assigned to the California Highway Patrol. His job is to go undercover and find a number of officers that are suspected of wrong doing. Meanwhile, recently separated from his wife the pill popping Officer and crackerjack X-games biker, Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) has finally made it through the police academy and assigned to CHIPS.

DAX SHEPARD as Jon and MICHAEL PENA as Ponch in CHIPS

The two opposites are paired as partners and dive into one mindless situation after another. When they fall into some evidence that a recently killed cop may have been a member of a ring of police on the take, Ponch and Baker try to infiltrate for a chance to become heroes.

It’s hard enough to direct a comedy action film, nevertheless act in it too, and that’s where CHIPS falls apart. The film looks as if it were directed by the whole cast instead of Dax Shepard with scenes of obvious adlibbing and spontaneity. The script that was also written by Shepard, has so many plot holes that are preposterous and in some cases are so embarrassingly dumb they are hard to laugh off.

DAX SHEPARD as Jon, MICHAEL PENA as Ponch and ROSA SALAZAR as Ava Perez in CHIPS

The acting gets so basic it’s boring and in some cases amateurish. While Michael Pena and Dax Shepard are on screen, one sex joke after another fills their dialogue. If it’s not the size of Baker’s sex organ, it’s Ponch in heat looking at every woman like it’s his next score. Gay inferences are rampant and in most cases more awkward than funny. Even the female body gets shown distastefully from the opening shot to several incidents of unflattering gratuitous nudity.

 

MICHAEL PENA as Ponch and ISIAH WHITLOCK JR as Peterson in CHIPS

Of the two main characters the only actor I’m a little embarrassed for is Michael Pena who has made a lot of real movies like End of Watch (Drama), 30 Minutes or Less (Comedy/Drama), The Lucky Ones (Drama), and The Shooter (Drama). And finally Eric Estrada who played Ponch in the “CHIPS” TV Series who shows up in a scene at the finale. Since it was a cameo part, Eric probably hadn’t read the screenplay or had not seen the dailies to see how silly they were portraying the TV show.

CHIPS has been rated R by the MPAA for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use. Unfortunately the film is probably critic proof, but make sure not to bring children under 17 to the film. Actually the movie trailer is better than the movie. Just saying.

FINAL ANALYSIS: See it only if your curious or like the movies I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Dax Shepard, Michael Pena, Adam Brody, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Richard T. Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Maya Rudolph, and Rose Salazar
Directed by: Dax Shepard
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Crime
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Distributed by: Warner Bros.

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 11 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com