The transition from television to major motion picture can be tricky to make. We have an expectation from the characters because we have become familiar with them by watching their hijinks every week on tv. So, how does one take a television franchise about the California Highway Patrol and turn it into a major motion picture? Let’s find out in this review of “CHIPS.”
The story was adjusted from the original television show that ran from 1977-1983. This iteration has an undercover agent of the FBI and a motorcycle stunt man leading the charge. Both characters have their own unique issues they are trying to come to terms with in this film. Writer/Director Dax Shepard said in an interview on the Nerdist Podcast that he was trying to make a film akin to “Lethal Weapon.” While I can see where he was attempting to go, the overall delivery fell short of that movie. The characters felt partly developed and overstated. By that, I mean, they felt more like caricatures instead of believable people in their situation. The dialogue for both the leads indicated that some research had gone into developing these two leads. The manner in which they’d discuss addiction, for example, told me that an honest attempt was made on making a quality film. That all being said, the overall product did not deliver.
The one concern I have going into theaters to see a comedy is that the funniest parts of the film are in the trailers leading up to the release. I am happy to report that this film still had some laugh out loud moments not in the trailers. However, that alone is not enough to save this film. There’s also some dark moments in this story, again, indicating that this was meant to be better than it turned out to be. When fingers get blown off, my jaw dropped. That was a surprise and a well placed surprise at that. Additionally, Vincent D’Onofrio played the villain but more importantly he used his own voice. The last two characters he played he altered his voice. Thankfully, we get normal sounding Vincent. His performances are generally always entertaining so I don’t want to elaborate more on his performance in this film. I was simply commenting on the fact he used his normal voice and that was a pleasant break from what he has been doing.
“CHIPS” Is in theaters now! Don’t see this movie in theaters. It’s not worth the ticket price or concessions that go along with the price of a ticket. I will say that if you find yourself relaxing on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and it comes on or is rented at Redbox than give it a shot. It’s not a terrible film but it does fail where I believe it was supposed to deliver. All in all, keep your expectations low, pour yourself a drink, whatever that might be, kick your feet up and don’t be surprised if you nap periodically throughout the movie while lounging in the comforts of your own home.