CHiPs. California Highway Patrol. Also, an ’80s television show starring Erik Estrada that is no longer culturally relevant.
There is not much to say about CHiPs, so I will try and keep this short. For a silly reboot comedy, this film about two motorcycle police officers goes dark in weird atonal ways. Heroin, sex addiction, and suicide are all introduced as plot devices within the first 10 minutes of the film.
As a comedy, the film is, by and large, serviceable. That is the closest thing to an olive branch that can be extended to Dax Shepard’s directorial effort. Shepard stars alongside Michael Pena, and the pair have a few genuinely funny moments scattered across the runtime. There rapport is the selling point of the film. Not that there is much to sell, as the charisma is squandered on woefully adolescent humor.
Vincent D’Onofrio’s villain is also a high point, as he is a genuinely compelling character, but it is a character meant for a different movie. It is a shame, given D’Onofrio’s strong performance, that he is being used in a film that flounders around him.
CHiPs is juvenile and narrow minded. Running gags of masculine insecurities and homophobia feel outdated and are approached in awkward ways. Other gags involve anal fixation and nude pics. It is an R-rated film made for 12-year-olds.
The film is a childish attempt at 21 Jump Street success. The script takes ample time for diversions that lead to playground-level sex humor, to often disastrous results. Without knowing any better, CHiPs would come off as a movie by pre-teen boys for pre-teen boys that cannot be seen by pre-teen boys because the pre-teen boys who wrote the script felt the need to include boobs.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)