Who didn’t love the TV show ChiPs as a kid?
Apparently not Dax Shepard, writer, director and star of this poorly conceived and misguided effort to capture the nostalgic affection for the beloved motorcycle cops on the highways of California.
I’ve certainly been involved in my own fair share of distasteful, crass and crude performances and productions throughout my 20 year career, but when Shepard’s character Jon Baker (Larry Baker in the TV show) explains to supervisor Sgt. Gail Hernandez (Maya Rudolph) – “Disabled people are doing great aren’t they? Take that guy with the blades for legs? He’s good with a gun”, or words to that effect, it is clear that nothing is sacred in this odd film that veers between buddy cop comedy and sincere attempts at drama in the blink of an eye.
For those expecting the laughs, action and magical chemistry found in 21 Jump St and it’s sequel, be aware that CHiPs falls far short of that TV crossover.
Dax Shepard and Michael Pena are no match for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and the woeful result is a cautionary tale to Hollywood folk who think they can write, direct and act all at the same time without the potential for disaster.
21 Jump St was directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who delivered the brilliant Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie, and allowing Shepard to handle so many duties on a film like CHiPs where the result is so much less than what it could have been in entertainment terms will likely result in punishment at the box office.
1 & ½ Stars – Criminal
Rotten Tomatoes says – CHiPS abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show’s premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best.