If you’re looking for some lighthearted entertainment, look no further than the action buddy cop comedy CHIPS from 2017. It’s based on the cult television series that ran in the late seventies and early eighties. Having never seen one single episode of the show, I can’t really say whether this is a successful adaptation. However, what I can say is that I was thoroughly entertained throughout this unassuming and fun movie. It doesn’t try to be something bigger or better, even poking fun at the subgenre of buddy cop movies. The focus is on the action, chase scenes, and evolving friendship between Ponch and Jon. The story is predictable and without major surprises, just as it should be. Everything is steered towards this brainless amusement vibe.
CHIPS, the movie, is directed by Dax Shepard who also stars in it alongside versatile Michael Peña. Fuck, I think this is his like the sixth movie where he plays a cop. And although his performance in End of Watch was stellar, I think that his role as Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena in Narcos: México is the best. Shepard was also pretty good and goofy, playing this daredevil cop pitch-perfect. We also have majestic Rosa Salazar, imposing Vincent D’Onofrio, and Mr. Shiiiiiiit himself, Isiah Whitlock Jr. The atmosphere is very vibrant and exciting, with a lot of jokes. Jokes that are pretty raunchy for this type of mainstream action-comedy. Moreover, they give the movie exactly the edge it needed to stand apart from all the mediocre and commercial movies released lately. I know that this so-called toilet humor will put off some people, but what can you do?
Jon Baker just graduated from the California Highway Patrol Academy and is eager to start his new job. The only reason why he passed is because he knows how to drive his bike really well. Okay, and Sgt. Gail Hernandez likes him. As one of his first jobs, he lands a complex investigation of an armored van heist. An investigation he’s going to need help with and this is where FBI Agent Castillo steps in.
The final piece of the puzzle are the visuals. The production values are quite high and we will enjoy those glorious sun-soaked shots of Californian highways. The whole thing gave off a video game vibe like you’re playing the latest Grant Theft Auto game. Only you don’t have to move or do anything. CHIPS will leave you feeling satisfied and energized, fueling your inner child. That rebel that wants to just go out and have some fun. And while I usually trash or simply don’t recommend these commercial attempts to cash in on the nostalgia-related content, this one has something about it that makes it quite watchable. And enjoyable, I should also mention. So, now you know what to expect and what not to expect and all that’s left is to play the movie.
If you’re looking for similar movies, check out The Other Guys, Let’s Be Cops, 21 Jump Street, The Heat, and The Nice Guys. And while we’re on the subject of reboots and remakes you might want to take a look at Starsky and Hutch and The Dukes of Hazzard.
Director: Dax Shepard
Writers: Rick Rosner, Dax Shepard
Cast: Michael Peña, Dax Shepard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosa Salazar, Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Phil Tyler
Fun Facts: Dax Shepard did most of his own stunts, including the stoppie during the training test.