If, by some random fate of the internet, you ended up reading a review for CHiPs on a motorcycle website in spite of the fact that you have no interest in motorcycles, then let me cut to the chase: CHiPs is not a very good movie. Not in the traditional sense. The plot is unnecessarily complicated, it’s self-indulgently obscene, and worst of all, it’s just not consistently funny. But, if you do see it, you’ll witnesses some of the finest displays of motorcycle riding and motorcycle filming to ever come across the silver screen. And that’s what we’re excited about.
For the uninitiated, CHiPs is based on the television series of the same name that ran from 1977-1983. Like the original show, the movie follows motorcycle-mounted CHP officers Jon Baker (Dax Shepard) and Frank Poncherello (Michael Peña) as they protect/terrorize Los Angeles with their policing escapades. But, gone are the days of wholesome jokes and feathered hair. This movie-version of CHiPs is raunchy, and violent, and wears its R-rating like a badge of honor.
On the surface, that’s a good thing. There’s no sense in remaking or rebooting a series if you aren’t going to bring something new to the table. But there’s a nagging sense of superficiality to the filth in this movie. To be clear, I am not at all opposed to seeing movies with sex, violence, and cursing. This isn’t the beginning of some tirade about the fall of civilization because our minds are in the gutter. I just think these elements should be used in service of the story. They should make movies funnier, scarier, or more realistic. And sadly, that’s not the case for CHiPs.