“I’m sure I saw the original show at some point. I don’t have specific memories of watching it, but I do remember it being an important part of pop culture in my predominantly Hispanic hometown. CHiPs was synonymous with motorcycle cops, to the point where one often visible local cop was given the nickname Chips. You couldn’t go more than a couple days without seeing him, either riding down the road or (more likely) perched on the side of the road waiting for some speedster to drive by. Yeah, he had quite the rep for doling out speeding tickets. To this day, I don’t think Erik Estrada when I hear CHiPs. I think of our local motorcycle cop, and I picture him in the khakis.
Following in the footsteps of movies like 21 Jump Street that took a more irreverent comedic approach to the (please don’t make me say it) reboot (uggggh), our new CHIPS stars Michael Pena in the iconic role with Dax Shepard at his side. Dax also wrote, directed, and produced. And according to an antecdote from Kristen Bell, Pena was giving Dax such a hard time about having his name everywhere on the film that Dax served as Pena’s stunt double for a scene just so that he could add “”Stunt double for Michael Pena”” to his growing list of credits.
Plot is mostly irrelevant. California Highway Patrol motorcyle cops. Got it. Not nearly as clever as Jump Street, although it did start to find a groove by the end. Maybe it could have gone for a harder R, but as it was, the comedy was just okay. What sold it and made it enjoyable was the bromantic chemistry between our leading men. I’ve been a fan of both for a long time, and when I saw their names attached to this I got very excited. Part of the excitement is simply from the fact of Pena, longtime standout sidekick, getting a high profile lead role. I think this pair could do well with pretty much any material, but this fit them well. I doubt the box office and critical reception were enough to warrant a sequel, but I’m hopeful they can find some excuse to work together again.
The other thing that was a bit of a standout was that the motorcycle scenes looked really cool. Specifically, Dax can actually ride. That meant that they were able to put a camera on the end of his bike facing him, so we’d get a lot of close up shots of him riding that looked fantastic. Those really pulled me in to scenes that I may not have otherwise paid as much attention to.
I kinda don’t care that this movie is getting crap reviews. I enjoyed it, and it was exactly what I needed during what turned out to be a rather frustrating weekend. Okay maybe I do care because I would like for there to be another one.
CHIPS – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”