MOVIE REVIEW: Chips

The much-loved TV show has come to the big screen, with Dax Shepard writing, directing, and starring alongside Michael Pena.  Two of the California Highway Patrol motorbike police officers are hot on the heals of a gang of armored car robbers.  They believe that the robberies are an inside job and want to find how deep the rot is within the department.  It’s not easy when one of them isn’t who he says he is, Pena is a FBI Agent under cover, also with Shepard being a former extreme motor bike guy, it’s all designed to be the major mess up, and you know what word I wanted to use instead of mess there, so let’s have a look.

I was a huge fan of this show back in the 80’s, yes I’m that old, even though I look like a new-born baby.  This new-born baby in question is severely depressed about looking like a 42-year-old reviewer.  But I enjoyed CHIPS back in the day, the cops work never seemed too dangerous and the light-hearted nature of the show was a great contrast to the damp weekends when the show aired here in Ireland.  I was filled with dread and horror when I learned that we were going to get a big screen outing of this film. Starsky and Hutch anyone?

I’ll be honest, as much as I was dreading this film, I always have that hope.  It’s a hope that has gotten me this far in life despite the pain and horrors of health, despite everything we hold hope up like the only light in the darkness.  I will admit that this is one of those films where you can watch after a long day and just lose yourself in the mindless action and comedy that the film provides.  Shepard’s script and direction would have been perfect for the 1990’s and that is one of the major problems with this film.  If this was made in the 90’s we’d probably have loved it, it feels dated already.  I have a feeling though if it were made in the 90’s we’d have Chris Farley and David Spade as the two cops.

The plot is paper-thin and there are no shocks in the whole thing, not that there is meant to be, but it would have been nice that some of the script hold a little bit of thriller to it.  My other problem with the film is that Vincent D’Onofrio is there, why?  Please Vincent tell me why you are in this terrible crap when you can act rings around anyone else on-screen.  This is a question that leaves me scratching my head to the point of drawing blood.  Also what has happened to Kristen Bell?  Here she has a nothing role.  The paycheck or the favors called in by Shepard must have been very seductive.  Pena is basically replaying his role from War on Everyone from last year.  Shepard isn’t too bad, I’ll be honest I’m not a fan, but here he’s almost likable.

This is an average action comedy film that I’d watch again when I want to rid myself of the rubbish built up over a day.  You don’t have to think, the action is funny enough to hold your attention for the running time, and the chemistry between most of the players is spot on.  Fingers crossed that we don’t see any more from this series now.  Everything has a place and there is a time to let things go, after this film it’s time to let this series go.

Director: Dax Shepard
Writer: Dax Shepard
Stars: Michael Peña, Dax Shepard, Jessica McNamee

See full cast & crew

Trailer:

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