By: Ali Habous
Earlier this year I reviewed the mean-spirited Ice Cube and Charlie Day comedy Fist Fight and I mentioned that decent comedies are a rarity these days and most of them try to squeeze as many jokes as possible, while hoping that most of them land well with the audience. However, 90% of the comedies nowadays are very lazy, rude, and full of forced jokes. Unfortunately, CHiPs continues that trend and there is little to recommend about it. Not that you will not laugh but a few laughs far and in between is not worth a trip to the movies or even a T.V night with your buddies.
This one is based on the 70’s popular American T.V show by the name of CHiPs which revolves around the outlandish adventures of two motorcycle police officers in the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The film is a buddy comedy and it never takes itself too seriously, it is laid back and totally aware of its own silliness. There are three or four good jokes throughout the movie, but it’s the little jokes that this movie totally misses, so expect to laugh once every 20 minutes or so. There is an over reliance on sexual jokes and in CHiPs it becomes very redundant and annoying instead of funny.
Dax Shepard’s performance as the depressed and dumb cop is passable, but its Michael Pena’s performance in the movie that makes the film watchable. He plays the very sexually active cop with his usual Latin machismo and his presence is very welcomed in a rather less than average comedy like this one. The action scenes are not bad, and the film benefits from another decent casting choice in Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio is always great and his charisma tends to eclipse all the other actors on the screen, but the question is what is he doing in this mediocre comedy? It must be the paycheck.
CHiPs is a barely watchable comedy that is salvaged by a very few laughs and some good performances by Michael Pena and Vincent D’Onofrio. The screenplay is full of little jokes that are devoid of any originality or a real sense of humor. Think of this movie as a probability game where director Dax Shepard and Co are hoping that 70% of the jokes land on the moviegoers’ good side, but unfortunately for them it went completely the other way and they got around 30% right.
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