Let The “CHIPS” Fall Where They May!

Release Date: March 24, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Rated R for language & sexual content
Grade: C+
Written & Directed By: Dax Shepard

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We’re the California Highway Patrol. This job is crucial. Without us out there someone could get hurt.

Jon Baker is an ex-pro motor-biker who barely passed the California Highway Patrol (CHP) tests in a last ditch effort to save his marriage. The only reason that he passed is because of his motorcycle skills and his blunt honesty with Sgt. Hernandez. After being estranged from his wife for a year, Jon thinks that she will fall back in love with him if he is in a uniform like her father. Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherella is an undercover FBI agent who is tasked to bring down a dirty highway patrolman after an unfortunate suicide/murder during an armored car heist. Dismayed that the lead on the case is Agent Allen, whom he accidentally shot during the heist, Ponch is excited to infiltrate the ChiPs. While Ponch has a limited time to find out who is stealing millions of dollars by using CHP resources, Jon attempts to psychoanalyze Ponch’s weaknesses using his knowledge from couple’s therapy. As they get closer and closer to revealing who the dirty cop and his crew are, Ponch and Jon learn that what each partner lacks the other makes up for.

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There might have maybe a little bit of contact.

Yoga pants and three beers too intimate sounds like a goofy premise for a partnership, but Dax Shepard (Hit and Run) and Michael Pena (The Martian) just make it work. Based on the popular TV series that ran from 1977-1983 also named Chips, Dax Shepard wrote a modern version origin story of how the two lead characters met. The story is very transparent and not very creative but the comedic chemistry of the duo combined with the trademark menacing bad guy performance from Vincent D’Onofrio (Jurassic World) compensate for any shortcomings. While the humor portrayed in the original series was very subtle, Shepard pens a script loaded with raunchy material. The irony is that Shepard and Pena pulled it off so expertly that the topics of homophobia, sex addition, and infidelity didn’t really seem too offensive. I was surrounded by an audience that heartily laughed several times throughout the running time. The cinematography by Mitchell Amundsen (Now You See Me) was another asset of this film. Throughout the plentiful action scenes, the camera held steady and delivered just as much as the actors did. Ride onto into the theater to see this one!    ~Movie Buffette

Starring:

Michael Pena as Francis ‘Ponch’ Poncherella
Dax Shepard as Jon Baker
Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Peterson
Rosa Salazar as Ava Perez
Kristen Bell as Karen Baker
Jessican McNamee as Lindsey Taylor
Adam Brody as Clay Allen
Ryan Hansen as Brian Grieves
Vincent D’Onofrio as Ray Kurtz

About Laura McDonald

october, 2021

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