Review – CHiPs (2017)

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chips-58c521a6e6d49Happy weekend, everyone. Today, we’ll be looking at one of the few comedies I didn’t really care to watch this year, which is CHiPs. Now, as many of you are aware, this is based on an old TV show of the same name. A TV show that was really just an hour drama that they turned into an R-rated comedy…much like Baywatch, but we’ll get to that movie at another time. Neither of the TV shows were shows that I ever watched, so I can’t exactly compare the two, nor would I want to. This was meant as its own project – just taking inspiration off of certain elements of the TV show. So, consider this a truly blind review.

“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 former 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 the hardened pro are teamed together, but clash more than click, so kick-starting a real partnership is easier said than done. But with Baker’s unique bike skills and Ponch’s street savvy it might just work…if they don’t drive each other crazy first. Written by Warner Bros.” (IMDb)

Alright, I want to first talk about my first impressions, which mainly had to do with character development. It was quite a surprise when I saw highly developed characters. While those developments probably had the TV show to thank, I couldn’t help but think those traits set the characters apart from R-rated comedy films like it. Things like how one doesn’t mind pulling a trigger, but is a horrible shot, while the other isn’t a bad shot, but refuses to take out his pistol when he probably should. Like how one has a bad injury that is used as a plot device. Like how they are both weird with their own unique compulsions that ultimately make them opposites. It is that dynamic that actually made most of the film interesting enough to watch…but that doesn’t necessarily mean the movie itself was good.

Let’s go ahead and break the film down and figure out where the movie went well and where it didn’t. Let’s interpret the stars!

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PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

As I said earlier, I actually really liked the dynamic between the character development in the film. It actually helped to make the film memorable for the characters alone, which is great. But the acting isn’t really all that great. It’s a typical comedy that never tries to be more serious. The casting is also fine, but I’m not convinced that anyone else could have filled these roles just fine. I do believe that each character had their own reason to be there that benefitted to the story and to each other, but no one really had what I would consider as perfect chemistry. The two leads work together okay, but without great acting, you often don’t get the best chemistry.

WRITING SCORE – 6/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 1

Next up, we have the writing score, which really got a so-so score. Why? Well, you often get that kind of score with R-rated comedies, so it’s not a huge surprise. Nothing about the dialogue was really super memorable. I will say that the film follows a very basic formula, so it is indeed balanced and never over-convoluted. The story of the film is really super basic and doesn’t give the audience anything new to appreciate. It’s really about teamwork and friendship, which we’ve seen a million times and we’ve seen better. Is it original? Not really, and I don’t mean because it’s based on a TV show, I’m talking buddy cop garbage that we see all the time. Finally, is it interesting? I’ll give it enough to say it’s sometimes interesting, but that really comes down to curiosity more than anything.

BTS SCORE – 6/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

Next up, we have behind-the-scenes, which also received a so-so score. Let’s see why. The visuals were everything you’d expect from an R-Rated comedy like this film, so nothing really wowed me or looked amazing. Neither the directing or the editing really had any elements that stood out above the rest. That’s because what they had wasn’t really challenging. I would say it’s as-advertised, but that’s really as good as this category gets, because even the music was typical and forgettable.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1

Alright, so like I mentioned above, the movie mostly follows a really balanced pacing, which was good news for this category, which nearly got a perfect score. The introduction did a great job introducing us to the two main leads and what’s going on in their lives, why they are there, and where each of them is going. The inciting incident is really when the two of them are teamed up. The obstacles come down to funny police and teamwork speed bumps. The climax is the culmination of everything else, but the falling action is a little incomplete. It’s mostly fine, but it could be better.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 1/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 0

Oh dear. Oh dear, dear. When asked how entertaining it is, it seems we’ve hit a brick wall. I don’t really consider this very rewatchable, but I don’t put off watching it again at some point in my life. I would say it’s fun sometimes, but not like it intended to be. I have zero impulses to buy it, zero impulses to own it, zero impulses to talk about it, and I can’t say it really sucks you in, because it never does….take that as you will.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 35/50
Comedy – 5|Adaptation – 10|Interest in original – 0|Action – 10|Halfway Decent – 10

Alrighty, now for the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. First and foremost, this is a comedy, so is it funny? I would say that it had its moments, but it was more touch and go than anything else. Next up, this is an adaptation, so could I tell? I think the character development was too good not to have been based on the original, but for the most part, it felt like a movie, so they did a good job there in my opinion. Do I have any interest in watching the original TV series after watching the movie? You know, that happened when I saw Star Trek (2009), but it definitely didn’t happen today. How was the action? I would say that for the most part, the action wasn’t terrible. I’m totally okay with that. Finally, was it halfway decent? Well, I totally believe that the final result is what the filmmakers were going for, so I would have to say yes. Yes, it is halfway decent, but not much more than that.

TOTAL – 64/100

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