A grab bag of vulgarities, sex jokes, slapstick, nudity and chase scenes, the action-comedy CHIPS holds together better than expected, thanks largely to the goofy, dim-bulb rapport between stars Dax Shepard and Michael Peña.
A puerile combination of raunchy sex comedy and bland action vehicle, CHIPS will likely manage the difficult feat of simultaneously alienating fans of the original series and newcomers who will wonder why a buddy cop comedy displays so much homosexual panic.
The humor is way more miss than hit, prone to the kind of raunch (analingus debates, homophobia teasing, who’s-hot-who’s-not) that feels available, not thought-out, and pain gags that don’t get funnier the more they’re repeated.
Jon Baker (Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten up pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job—inside the CHP. The inexperienced rookie and hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kickstarting a partnership is easier said than done however, with Baker’s bike skills combined with Ponch’s street savvy it might just work…if they don’t drive each other crazy along the way.