CHiPs; Law and Disorder 2017 ***

Dax Shepard’s violent, profane but goofy action-comedy has something of the straight-shooting simplicity of the source material, the fondly remembered 80’s tv show CHiPs. But as with Starsky and Hutch and 21/22 Jump Street, a reboot has to take a fresh angle, and Chips doesn’t have a clear central idea to hang it’s hat on. Audiences stayed clear, but there’s an amusing mix of cynicism and Californian sunshine in the final product. Writing, directing and starring, Shepherd throws himself into his role as a washed up motocross champ, seemingly mad with enthusiasm to demean himself in the name of cinematic art, via unflattering nude scenes or getting covered in cat litter. He’s aided with support from his wife Kristen Bell, sidekick’s sidekick Michael Pena, and a decent villainous turn from Vincent D’Orfinio. And the action scenes have a certain straight-up directness, relying on old-fashioned stunts that look staged, but also dangerous.


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