If you’ve been following this site, then you would have known that CHIPS has already been reviewed on this site. For a deeper analysis, I recommend you read MJ Smith’s earlier review. I won’t be doing a full on review per se but since it is a big film, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it. This general consensus has been negative with a plethora of appearances near the top of lists of the worst movies of 2017 so far so it was with this that I had in mind going into this and I will just say that this praise or there lack of is warranted.
I was vaguely aware of the TV show in which the film is based so I can’t accurately speak to its authenticity. Although it does feature motorcycles and buddy cops which the show was primarily known for, there was something about the elements of the film that just didn’t fit. When a film starts with a message saying that the group that is about to be depicted does not endorse the film at all, it could go either way as this could be played for comedic effect or it was really not worth endorsing. For this film, the latter was the case.
In what was basically a buddy cop film, its success relies solely on the chemistry between the leads, however, the relationship between Dax Shepard as Jon and Michael Pena as Ponch was very awkward to watch from beginning to end as they simply felt uncomfortable with one another. They are both decently developed althoughMost of the film’s unfunny comedy consisted of the differences between both characters while gratuitously scraping the bottom of the barrel in doing so. This could come off as highly offensive to some but what was the most offensive about it was how unoriginal it was.
As mentioned, the elements of the film didn’t quite fit together, making it feel disjointed as a whole. The mediocre writing and lead performances made the buddy cop element of the film a chore to watch while the mystery element seemed like a different film altogether. By mystery, it wasn’t much of one. It was more of an afterthought since the film was more interested in being raunchy than telling much a story at all. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise seeing that to truly enjoy this film, one must turn their brains off because a lot of it will defy sense and logic.
The acting was mediocre but this was mostly due to the script and the direction than anything else. Shepard as the writer and director may have been a little out of his element here as everything about it was lazy and derivative. The script was perhaps relying too much on these tropes rather than trying to do anything remotely new. The action sequences were okay, however, there weren’t nearly enough of them.
Overall, this was an unfunny buddy action comedy with a lazy and derivative script along with mediocre performances and direction.
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