Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Vincent D’Onofrio
Director: Dax Shepard
Running Time: 100 mins
CHIPS is an American film about an FBI agent who is assigned to an undercover mission at the California Highway Patrol, and is paired with a rookie who causes all sorts of problems that impede his attempts to uncover corruption and criminal infiltration in the organisation.
I expected a lot worse from this film. Although it’s not a work of comedic genius, it is a surprisingly decent movie, complete with good chemistry between the two leads, and a good few big laughs throughout. Its story isn’t exceptional, not will it have you rolling on the floor laughing, but it does prove an hour and a half of light, braindead fun.
Let’s start with what works about this film: the performances. Although both Michael Peña and Dax Shepard aren’t that entertaining or impressive on their own, the two do work very well together, and make for an entertaining duo throughout. With hugely contrasting personalities, it’s great fun to watch the two lead characters at each other’s throats for the majority of the movie, and it’s that relationship that leads the way when it comes to the movie’s humour.
But when it comes to that humour, it’s not all that bad. Although there are no hugely memorable jokes that you’ll be thinking and chuckling about hours after the movie, it all works well within the middle of a dumb and silly buddy comedy. Fortunately, the humour isn’t too moronic or irritating, relying more on the banter and conflict between the two for some of the best gags, something that I had quite a bit of fun with from time to time.
I’ve been giving this movie quite a bit of slack when it comes to the comedic side of things, but that’s simply because it’s not an annoyingly unfunny watch, meaning that it can be enjoyed as a light-hearted and silly comedy. However, when it comes to the story, CHIPS is far weaker.
Apart from the fact that the plot at hand is fairly generic and predictable, it doesn’t actually make all that much sense. So, while it doesn’t do much to instil any real mystery or excitement throughout as we attempt to uncover the infiltrators, instead just showing them right away, it’s pretty hard to follow coherently, and you end up confused about just where the bad guys and the good guys are in their battle against one another, something that took away a lot from the enjoyment factor.
On the whole, however, I have to say that CHIPS wasn’t all that bad. Yes, it’s by no means an exceptional comedy, and its iffy screenplay doesn’t do its crime story any favours. However, with some excellent chemistry between the two leads that allows for a lot of light-hearted and silly comedy, you can really enjoy this film for what it is, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.0.