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Blu-ray Review: CHIPS

June 27, 2017

By John Corrado

★ (out of 4)

Loosely based on the 1970s TV show, CHIPS follows an overly confident FBI agent (Michael Peña) who goes undercover on the California Highway Patrol as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, and gets teamed up with brash stunt biker Jon Baker (Dax Shepard), who joins the patrol in an attempt to impress his ex-wife (Kristen Bell).  Together, the mismatched partners are tasked with investigating a multi-million dollar theft involving crooked officers.

Written and directed by Dax Shepard, CHIPS is a film with practically no redeeming qualities, failing to provide any real excitement as an action movie, and not delivering any genuine laughs to function as a comedy either.  It’s also utterly lacking in terms of character development, which would have been paramount for this sort of thing to work.

Any attempts at providing unique character traits are more cheap than appealing.  For example, Ponch has a fetish for women in yoga pants, and takes multiple breaks throughout the day to compulsively masturbate in public bathrooms, in one of the film’s most off-putting subplots.  Another cringe-inducing recurring gag involves Baker having a penchant for being in his underwear and hugging other dudes, leaving Ponch terrified that someone will think they are gay.  I mean, come on, this whole homophobia played for laughs thing just feels hopelessly outdated.

The film is so clearly trying to be 21 Jump Street, which successfully offered a sendup turned tribute to a classic TV show, but it fails even as a pallid imitation.  There are so many movies out there that do the whole buddy cop thing so much better than CHIPS, and the fact that the film fails to deliver even by its own lowbrow standards makes this a purely forgettable comedy that is really hard to recommend.

The Blu-Ray also includes ten deleted scenes, as well as the three featurettes This is Not Your Dad’s CHIPS, Practical Pursuit and Ducati: The Perfect Bike.

CHIPS is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release.  It’s 101 minutes and rated 14A.

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