Well, sticking with that joke… this movie is a piece of Chip.
Boy, I thought this one was going to be bad, and, man, was I right.
CHiPs is the latest nostalgic television show to become a feature length film by changing the tone into a comedy in the same vein as 21 Jump Street. The original television show starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, but I was never a fan of it. Then, the trailers for this film were terrible. However, there is always a chance….
Nope. CHiPs was atrocious.
FBI Agent Castillo (Michael Pena) was asked to go undercover in the California Highway Patrol unit under the pseudonym Francis “Ponch” Poncherello. He was paired up with rookie cop and former stunt biker Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) to investigate the suspected robbery of armored bank cars by police officers. These two immediately hate each other as every thing about the other one rubs them the wrong way. As they learn to get along with each other, a bond forms between them and they become friends.
I really like Michael Pena, but he was given such a load of crap here that I can’t imagine why he would agree to do this. Ponch is such a horrible person, downright unlikable and mean, that I had no reason to cheer this guy. And he and Jon had no chemistry at all. They spent most of the film putting down each other that I didn’t care if they ever became friends. Jon was such a naive individual, until he wasn’t. If the script called for Jon to be pathetic, he was pathetic. If it called for him to be an amazing observational person, then he was.
Nothing here was funny. I am always amazed at the laughter that comes from the theater when a film uses so much of this kind of lowbrow and stupid (borderline mean-spirited, misogynistic, homophobic) humor. It makes me want to turn to the others in the crowd and ask them why they find this garbage funny. There may have been one or two giggle-worthy moments in the film, but they were very few and far between while the rest of the humor focused on the lowest level of jokes. Crude humor can be funny if done smartly, but there is nothing smart about the humor in CHiPs.
The story was stupid. There were massive plot holes throughout the entire run. Ponch had, apparently, some kind of sex addiction and Jon was addicted to painkillers and, I guess, had a bad knee and a body that was failing him. So of course the movie made him a cop. The scene where Jon hurtled a shrub made me wonder why his bad knee (that caused him to be unable to get out of bed earlier) didn’t prevent that from happening. I guess it was because the script needed him to jump that bush.
Jane Kaczmarek (formerly an Emmy winner for Malcolm in the Middle) and Kristen Bell (from Veronica Mars and Heroes) as well as Vincent D’Onofrio (The freakin’ Kingpin) had roles in here, and they were all wasted. Kaczmarek in particular had a character that was a complete insult to her talent as an actress. D’Onofrio had one or two scenes that made me think he was more than just a cardboard cutout of a character.
All of the characters were basically one note characters. They had a character trait, and that is what they were all about. They were not well developed people with certain troubles or flaws. Those flaws completely defined who these people were.
I was so happy when this movie ended. It was a trash heap and it absolutely lived down to the expectations that I had going in. It is right up there with the worst films of the year.