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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Crime > Remake > CHiPs (2017 feature film/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

CHiPs (2017 feature film/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: C

Dax Shepard (When in Rome) directs and stars in this messy big screen adaptation of the hit '70s - '80s TV series CHiPs (2017, original series reviewed elsewhere on this site). While the film isn't without its funny moments, it sometimes feels a bit predictable and very similar to other comedies in the same genre. This 2017 movie year has had some decent comedies with the best so far being Masterminds and The Greasy Strangler (reviewed elsewhere on this site), both of which I would recommend over this film in terms of laughs and replay value.

Michael Pena (Ant Man) and Shepard have pretty good comedic chemistry onscreen and the supporting cast isn't half bad with Rosa Salazar (Insurgent), Adam Brody (Think Like a Man Too, The OC), Kristen Bell (who is Shepard's real life wife to whom he makes a scummy character here), Jessica McNamee (The Vow), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), and the highly underrated Vincent D'Onofrio (The Cell).

Still despite this cast of funny faces, this big budgeted comedy has many scenes that feel like afterthoughts (jokes that were added during editing to make the film funnier) and there are a few scenes that seem to be unmotivated, primarily written to put another car chase or action scene in.

Jon Baker (Shepard) and Frank "Ponch" Poncherello (Pena) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles, but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten-up former pro motor-biker with bad knees who is trying to put his life and marriage back together (though failing miserably at the former), while Poncherello is a sex addict and know-it-all undercover federal agent investigating a multi-million dollar heist that may be an inside job - inside the CHP (to which D'Onofrio is behind). When these two cops get together, the results are everything but normal. Can they work out their differences to help crack the biggest case of their professional careers whilst putting their personal lives at bay?

This set contains three copies of the film, the best being the 1080p high definition Blu-ray edition of the film, which presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and a nice sounding

DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless track. Most of the film takes place in California and features nicely defined shots of the city of Los Angeles and there are some earlier scenes that take place in Florida. Character details are spot on and for a film of this nature, it doesn't necessarily need a 4K upgrade for maximum enjoyment.

A standard definition DVD of the film is also included with an anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track. While obviously not as impressive as the

Blu-ray, this edition maintains high standards for the format and will read fine on some HDTVs that aren't 4K. When watching on a nicer set though, the differences are immediately notable with compression being the main drawback. Also included is a digital HD copy of the film that looks better than the DVD.

Special Features:

This Is Not Your Dad's CHIPS

Practical Pursuit

Ducati: The Perfect Bike

Director's Audio Commentary

While not a huge box office success, CHiPs brings back a lost television franchise to the big screen with some modern day updates. Many plot devices used for the main characters are a bit tiresome, especially Dax Shepard's knees which is a constant reoccurrence in the film, and Pena's sexual addiction, which is a joke that the Bad Santa films used to a better effect, could have been stronger. If you're a fan of the original show and can turn your brain off while watching, CHiPs is an okay attempt at a modern day reboot.

- James Lockhart



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