Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Dax Shepard
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Mitchell Amundsen
WRITER: Dax Shepard
MUSIC: Fil Eisler
“CHiPs” opens up by stating that the California Highway Patrol does not in any way endorse this movie. This may have been done for comedic effect, but I don’t blame the CHP for staying away from this film one bit. I wondered why I hadn’t seen a lot of marketing for this movie and now I think it’s due to the studio being ashamed that they ever allowed this movie to be made.
The movie is based off the 1977 show of the same name. However, it should be noted that the two shows are pretty much only related in name only. This new version tries to pull off what “21 Jump Street” did in 2012. It tries to take what was originally a pretty bad light drama/comedy television show and make it a modern comedy free-for-all.
The difference here is that “21 Jump Street” had heart. “CHiPs” just has a bunch of lame jokes, some of which repeat frequently. Also, I actually cared about Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters in both the “Jump Street” films. I could truly care less for the cartoon characters called Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Michael Peña) as they fumble through the film’s plot.
Jon is a former extreme sports motorcyclist who has suffered so many injuries that he can no longer do that job. In order to keep his marriage together, he joins the CHP due to his wife’s father also being a cop… Yes, that is the real reason and it is as dumb as it reads.
Ponch is actually an FBI agent that goes undercover in the CHP in order to sniff out some dirty cops. He’s also a sleazy sex addict and despite his superior referring to him as one of the Bureau’s best agents, Ponch pretty much never proves this to be true. As far as the rest of the film’s story is concerned, it’s pretty much your basic cookie-cutter buddy cop movie and nowhere near as good as the films its trying to imitate.
The one thing that would have saved this movie is if it had at least made me laugh. Not once did I laugh out loud or even remotely chuckle. I actually came close to dozing off a couple of times. There was nothing here to even act as a redeeming moment for the movie.
This is not just one of the worst comedies that I’ve ever seen. It’s not only one of the worst action films that I’ve ever seen. It’s not just one of the worst films of 2017, either. “CHiPs” is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Period.