Dax Shepard's CHiPs is a full-fledged R-rated reboot of the popular show, carried by Shepard and co-star Michael Pena's chemistry, but mostly resulting in a misfired comedy that gets by on occasionally clever toilet humor.
Dax Shepard‘s CHiPs is the latest R-rated reboot of a popular television show, attempting to drum up new business on the weirdest of properties. Unfortunately, CHiPs isn’t quite 21 Jump Street, due to Shepard’s lack of script and directional powers, but it’s still a decent watch, mostly thanks to Shepard and his co-star Michael Pena.
CHiPs follows an under-cover FBI agent (Michael Pena) as he’s teamed up with a washed up motorcycle stunt man (Dax Shepard) that’s fresh into the academy . Together, the two must learn to settle their differences and solve a case before it’s too late and before they both end up shooting each other in the face out of annoyance.
CHiPs very quickly sets its tone, circling in on R-rated toilet humor that is raunchy, dirty and just as absurd as it can be. Occasionally, a joke or two sticks and stars Dax Shepard and Michael Pena shine for a minute or two as their perfect chemistry reveals itself.
Honestly, watching them constantly bicker is more interesting than the actual plot, which is a by-the-books cop drama infused with two of the world’s biggest morons. But that’s okay, because Pena is an enormous comedic talent that is finally being used properly, while Shepard continues to do his surfer boy routine that is mostly just him being a lovable airhead that always means well.
It’s not that I dislike Shepard, but I feel that he’s underutilizing his talents and selling himself short.
He wrote, produced, directed and starred in the film, yet his understanding of his character and the film seem to get lost somewhere in the translation.
Is CHiPs anything more than a shallow R-rated buddy cop film? Not really. Sure, fans of the original show might find some nostalgic value, but there’s no clever meta references slipped in and the film is pretty up front with its lack of actual intentions.
None of the action really matters and most of the characters are simply included to help sell a stale joke or to make our two “heroes” look less like equally bad men.
And that’s mostly okay if you know what you’re getting into. I personally witnessed three people walk out of my screening of the film and I honestly don’t blame them. It’s not like it’s that offensive, but it definitely tries to be for no good reason. It mostly doesn’t work, but I guess points should be given for effort. It’s also not fresh enough to warrant wasting too much time on it, because the folks in front of me looked like they needed to get some afternoon grocery shopping done after the film and it simply could not wait. I understand that, folks!
CHiPs is the next of what is most-likely to be many new attempts at old properties. 21 Jump Street seemed to handle that balance well, while Baywatch is looking like the next possible example of how to do it right, but CHiPs is one of those Netflix watches years down the road, when there’s really nothing else on.
That’s not to say that it’s horrible, but it’s definitely not putting forth much effort, so why should we?