CHiPs (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byDax Shepard
Written byDax Shepard
Based onCHiPs
by Rick Rosner
Produced by
  • Andrew Panay
  • Ravi Mehta
CinematographyMitchell Amundsen
Edited byDan Lebental
Music byFil Eisler
Primate Pictures[1]
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • March 20, 2017 (2017-03-20) (TCL Chinese Theatre)
  • March 24, 2017 (2017-03-24) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[3]
Box office$26.8 million[4]

CHiPs is a 2017 American buddy cop action comedy film written and directed by Dax Shepard,[5] based on the 1977–1983 television series of the same name created by Rick Rosner. The film stars Shepard as Officer Jon Baker and Michael Peña as Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, with Rosa Salazar, Adam Brody and Vincent D'Onofrio in supporting roles.

Principal photography began on 21 October 2015, in Los Angeles. The film premiered in the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles on March 20, 2017 anfd was theatrically released on March 24, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was a box-office bomb, grossing $26 million against a budget of $25 million, and received negative reviews from critics for its plot and direction.

Unlike the original series, the movie was produced without the cooperation of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and without a license to use CHP logos.


In the city of Miami, Agent Castillo of the FBI, takes down a crew of bank robbers. At the same time, former motocross racer Jon Baker enrolls in the California Highway Patrol Academy. Despite his low aptitude score across every field, Sgt. Gail Hernandez sympathizes with Jon, noting that he can ride a motorcycle better than the majority of cadets she has trained and grants him a probationary graduation.

On a California highway, a crew of bike riders attacks an armored van. One member, "LT", accuses the guard and his CHP closet boyfriend TJ of stealing from him. As punishment, LT informs TJ over the police frequency that he must choose who lives; he or his boyfriend. TJ ultimately kills himself.

In Miami, Castillo is informed that the CHP have requested the FBI's help in the armored van heist, believing that a corrupt police ring is involved. Given the alias Francis Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello, Ponch is partnered up with Baker, before ostensibly paying their respects to TJ's widow at home. Baker notes that there is not a single commendation, picture or other effects a helicopter pilot would have in the house and precisely identifies the bikes used in the heist as the Ducati Hypermotard 939. The bike gang makes another attempt on an armored van. The crew evade Ponch and Baker on the faster Ducatis after a lengthy chase through Elysian Park. LT, wary of Ponch's extensive investigations into the heists finds out from his FBI contacts that he is undercover, whereas Ponch also obtains a potential lead on an apartment TJ tenanted at and concludes that TJ had to have been corrupt as it would not have been affordable on his salary. Sensing that something is still amiss, Ponch and Baker re-visit TJ's home. Though getting involved in a fight with Parish, Ponch recognizes that he is not in on the corrupt circle, after he suggests that "LT" in reality could stand for Lieutenant. They later arrive on the profile of Lieutenant Raymond Kurtz and whilst suspect him have no evidence to pin him to the heists.

The FBI pick up on a promising lead to a drug house in Venice, prompting Ponch and Baker to respond. During a lengthy pursuit with one of the crew members, Officer Brian Grieves secretly informs LT that the suspect involved is his son. While crossing a bridge, the suspect is decapitated by a recovery vehicle's extended industrial wire. LT arrives and crashes into Baker who was in pursuit. Parish arrives in his police helicopter and airlifts an unconscious Baker to hospital.

Petersen fires Ponch for disobeying his orders to stay well away from the FBI's lead. Baker also discovers that his ex-wife Karen who Baker had been living with has sold her house while he was in hospital without telling him. At Ponch's house, Baker identifies the decapitated biker as Raymond Reed Kurtz Jr, connecting him to CHP Lieutenant Ray Kurtz's son and confirming their earlier suspicions. Ray kidnaps Karen and holds her hostage at his safe house but both Ponch and Baker rescue Karen as Officer Ava Perez arrives with back up but are attacked by Ray's associates.

Ray shoots off three of Ponch's fingers, leaving him unable to return fire and instead relies on Baker's poor aim to retaliate. Altering his aim to compensate, Baker accidentally detonates an explosive device that incapacitates Ray and his remaining guards, who Perez and the other Officers arrest. Ray comes to, but is reinforced by Officer Lindsey Taylor and then holds Baker at gunpoint. Ponch intervenes moments before Ray fires a shot into Baker's arm which ricochets off of a titanium implant and strikes Ray in the head, killing him instantly.

Baker is loaded onto an ambulance to be treated for his injuries. Karen offers to join him in hospital, however Baker finally realizes how little she cares for him and declines her offer. Ponch is given morphine by a paramedic. A final scene shows Castillo receiving a call from Peterson, who offers him his job back at the FBI. Castillo however refuses, preferring to stay in the CHP.




In 2005, a theatrical release motion picture version of the show was announced, starring Wilmer Valderrama as Ponch,[6] though as of 2013 this production was still "stalled".[7] Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox were rumored to make cameo appearances, although only Estrada appeared. In a 2002 episode of MADtv, Valderrama and fellow That '70s Show cast member Danny Masterson were featured in two parodies of CHiPs, which featured the two actors as Ponch and Baker respectively. Mila Kunis also appeared in the second sketch. In a 2002 episode of That '70s Show, Valderrama's character, Fez, was seen in the "most likely" section of the yearbook as "most likely to appear as Ponch in a musical version of CHiPs".

The project began as a personal film that Dax Shepard wanted to do: a motor sports comedy starring him and Michael Peña, and a tribute to the CHiPs television series. In an interview with Vulture, Shepard said:

...I’m always looking for something that will hold both comedy and motor sports. I’m looking for anything that I think I can combine those two things and that someone will make... I couldn’t have gone into any studio and said, “The movie’s called, uh, Eat My Dust” — well, that’s actually a title — “Burn Rubber, and it’s me and Michael Peña, and we’re on motorcycles.” They’d go, “No thank you.” It had to have a safety net, and the safety net I found was CHiPs, which as a kid I saw it, I was 2 when it came on originally and I think I was 8 when it went off the air... I lived in Detroit and it was cold and cloudy every day, and you’d turn this show on and for an hour you were in California, and it was beaches and palm trees and this weird pair on motorcycles, and as a kid, I was in. I didn’t follow any of the plotlines, and I didn’t know what the show was about, but it just had California and motorcycles. I thought, this could hold a Bad Boys version of the movie, because your heroes have motorcycles, so it’s got an inherent coolness if we just keep pushing in that direction.[8]

On September 2, 2014, Warner Bros. announced a film adaptation of the 1977–1983 TV series CHiPs created by Rick Rosner, which Andrew Panay would be producing along with Shepard.[9] Shepard also wrote, directed and starred in the film.[10] It was announced that Panay would produce the film through his Panay Films along with Ravi Mehta.[11] In August 2015, the film was selected by the California Film Commission to receive $5.1 million in tax credits.[12]

Steven Mnuchin was the executive producer of ChiPs.


Principal photography on the film began on October 21, 2015, in Los Angeles, California,[13][14] utilizing many of the same sections of Southern California freeways used for the original television series, notably Interstate 210 in La Crescenta, California.[citation needed]


In September 2014, Warner Bros. announced that Shepard would write, direct, and star in the film as Officer Jon Baker, and that Michael Peña would portray Frank "Ponch" Poncherello.[10] In May 2015, Vincent D'Onofrio was announced to be playing a former cop turned car thief and gang-leader.[15] In September, Adam Brody joined the film to play an officer, while Rosa Salazar and Shepard's wife Kristen Bell also signed on to star.[16][11] A few weeks later, Jessica McNamee signed on to play Lindsey Taylor, a tough and beautiful young California Highway Patrol officer.[17] In November, Jane Kaczmarek joined the film to play the police captain.[18] In March 2016, it was announced that Ryan Hansen would join the film.[19]


CHiPs was originally scheduled to be released on August 11, 2017, but it was pushed up to March 24, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures.[20][21]

CHiPs was released digitally on June 13, 2017. Two weeks later on June 27, 2017, Warner Home Video released the film on Blu-ray and DVD.


Box office[edit]

CHiPs grossed $18.6 million in the United States and Canada and $8.2 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $26.8 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, CHiPs opened alongside Life, Power Rangers and Wilson, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,464 theaters in its opening weekend.[22] The film made $500,000 from Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters.[23] It went on to debut to $7.6 million, finishing 7th at the box office.[24] In its second weekend the film grossed $4 million (a drop of 48.7%), finishing 9th at the box office.[25]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 113 reviews and an average rating of 3.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "CHiPs abandons the endearing innocence of its source material, using the titular cop show's premise as a setup for aggressively lowbrow gags that prove only mildly arresting at best."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 28 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[27] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 74% overall positive score and just 50% gave it a "definite recommend".[24]

Variety's Owen Gleiberman called the film lazy and clichéd, saying: "The film's model is—or should have been—the movie version of 21 Jump Street and its sequel, but the co-directors of those bumptious nihilistic undercover burlesques, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, knew how to turn comedy into suspense and thrills into media-mad absurdity. Shepard just sprinkles overstated banter onto a generic plot and bits of pedal-to-the-metal action, as if he was serving the action-comedy gods by sticking the usual ingredients in a blender and pushing 'purée.'"[28]

The original show's star, Larry Wilcox, posted on Twitter saying, "Way to go Warner Bros – just ruined the Brand of CHIPS and of the Calif Highway Patrol. Great choice!"[29]

Golden Raspberry[edit]

The film was awarded the Barry L. Bumstead Award at the 38th Golden Raspberry Awards, meaning the film would have likely been nominated in their "Worst Film" category had the recipient's theatrical run met their eligibility criteria.


  1. ^ Scheck, Frank (March 23, 2017). "'CHIPS': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "CHIPS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. January 16, 2017. Archived from the original on March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "'CHIPS': 15 Things to Know About Dax Shepard's R-Rated Adaptation". Collider. February 28, 2017. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "CHiPs (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "CHiPs". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "Valderrama saddles up for 'CHiPs' remake". Yahoo! Movies. December 8, 2005. Archived from the original on December 10, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  7. ^ Elavsky, Cindy (October 6, 2013). "Celebrity Extra". King Features. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Kevin Lincoln (March 27, 2017). "Dax Shepard on Motorcycles, Michael Peña, and Why He Made a CHiPs Movie". Vulture. Archived from the original on September 1, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 2, 2014). "Dax Shepard Driving Warner Bros 'CHiPS' Film; Michael Pena To Play Ponch". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Couch, Aaron (September 2, 2014). "Dax Shepard Making 'CHiPS' Movie for Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (September 18, 2015). "Kristen Bell Joins Husband Dax Shepard's CHiPs' Movie at Warner Bros. (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Santa Monica, California: The Wrap News Inc. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (August 18, 2015). "California Film Tax Credits Go to 'Conjuring 2,' 'Chicken Soup for the Soul'". Variety. Los Angeles: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "On the Set 10/22/15: Tom Hiddleston Starts on 'Kong: Skull Island, Nina Dobrev Starts on 'Crash Pad'". SSN Insider. Los Angeles: Alex Amin. October 23, 2015. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Perry, Spencer (November 12, 2015). "Photos from the Set of the CHiPs Remake!". Coming Soon. Los Angeles: Evolve Media, LLC. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (May 26, 2015). "'CHiPs' Movie Casting Vincent D'Onofrio as Villain (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 16, 2015). "Adam Brody Joins Dax Shepard in Warner Bros.' 'CHiPs' Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Los Angeles: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  17. ^ Pedersen, Erik (September 30, 2015). "Jessica McNamee Moves From 'Sirens' To 'CHiPs' & More". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on November 4, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (November 10, 2015). "Jane Kaczmarek Joins Dax Shepard, Michael Pena in 'CHiPs' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 4, 2016). "'Veronica Mars' Alum Joins Fox Buddy Comedy 'The Enforcers'". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 22, 2016). "Warner Bros. Sets 'CHiPs', 'It' & Untitled PG-13 Comedy For 2017". Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  21. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 6, 2016). "Warner Bros. Makes 2017 Schedule Changes To 'King Arthur', 'CHiPS', 'Annabelle 2' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "Can 'Power Rangers' Slay Disney's 'Beast' at the Box Office?". TheWrap. March 21, 2017. Archived from the original on January 5, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  23. ^ "'Beauty and the Beast' to Repeat at #1 Over 'Power Rangers', 'Life' and 'CHiPs'". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on March 25, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Family-Branded Films On Fire At The B.O.: 'Beauty And The Beast' Embraces $81M; 'Power Rangers' Mighty With $42M+". Deadline Hollywood. March 26, 2017. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  25. ^ "'Boss Baby' Cleans 'Beauty And The Beast's Clock With $51M+ Opening; 'Ghost' Shell-Shocked At $20M+". Deadline Hollywood. April 2, 2017. Archived from the original on April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  26. ^ "CHIPS (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  27. ^ "CHIPS Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 27, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  28. ^ "Film Review: 'CHIPS'". Variety. March 23, 2017. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  29. ^ Alexander, Bryan (March 21, 2017). "'CHIPS' movie gets mixed reviews from TV stars Larry Wilcox, Erik Estrada". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 13, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.

External links[edit]