CHiPs is a 2017 American action comedy buddy cop film written and directed by Dax Shepard, 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 October 21, 2015 in Los Angeles. The film was released on March 24, 2017 by Warner Bros. Pictures, received negative reviews from critics and has grossed $25 million worldwide.
The driver in a robbery reveals himself to be an undercover FBI agent named Castillo, and he arrests the criminal who killed his partner. Meanwhile, at the training center for the California Highway Patrol, an older rookie motorcycle officer named Jon Baker is being allowed to graduate on a probationary basis. He is a former freestyle motocross racer beginning a new career after his body has been left damaged by his sport. He is on a regimen of pain killers and is living in the guest house, after he and his wife separated when he lost his sponsors. The FBI agent, now undercover as Frank (Ponch) Poncherello, is sent to the CHP after an armored car robbery, which makes it apparent that there are corrupt cops working in the department. He is partnered with the rookie Baker, who will be too inexperienced to understand the corruption investigation Ponch will be leading. The corrupt officers are seen being led by Lt. Ray Kurtz, who is stealing the money from armored cars to get his heroin-addicted son out of Los Angeles. Ponch argues with his new partner over whether Baker's wife is unfaithful, while Baker gives Ponch unsolicited advice on what he perceives to be a sex addiction. Ponch is fired from the FBI when he ruins the investigation of another agent in which a suspect is killed. However, he is sworn into the CHP when he and Baker identify the dead suspect as Ray Kurtz' son. Kurtz sets a trap for them by kidnapping Baker's wife. Baker knows it is a trap but persuades Ponch to go anyway, despite the fact that his wife has just sold their home without his approval. After successfully rounding up the gang of corrupt officers and killing Kurtz, Ponch decides to remain in the CHP.
- Dax Shepard as Officer Jon Baker, former bike riding champion turned probationary CHP officer
- Michael Peña as Officer Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, FBI agent working undercover at the CHP department.
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Ray Kurtz, bloodthirsty leader of a group of corrupt cops within the CHP department.
- Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Peterson, Ponch's Boss
- Adam Brody as Clay Allen, an officer
- Rosa Salazar as Ava Perez
- Kristen Bell as Karen Baker, Jon's wife
- Jessica McNamee as Lindsey Taylor, a tough young California Highway Patrol rookie officer
- Vida Guerra as Ann
- Jane Kaczmarek as Jane Lindel, the police captain
- Justin Chatwin as Raymond Reed Kurtz Jr., Ray’s son
- Ryan Hansen as Brian Grieves Ben Falcone as Bicycle Cop
- Richard T. Jones as Parish
- Megalyn Echikunwoke as Patricia Eerly, a CHP officer.
- David Koechner as Pat
- Ed Begley Jr. as Wasp Driver Mae Whitman as Beebee
- Adam Rodriguez (uncredited) as Shamus
- Maya Rudolph (uncredited) as Sgt. Gail Hernandez
- Josh Duhamel (uncredited) as Rick
- Erik Estrada (uncredited) as Paramedic
On September 2, 2014, Warner Bros. announced a film adaptation of the 1977-1983 TV series CHiPs created by Rick Rosner, Andrew Panay would be producing along with Dax Shepard. Shepard will also write, direct and star in the film. It was announced that Panay would produce the film through his Panay Films along with Ravi Mehta. In August 2015, the film was selected by the California Film Commission to receive $5.1 million in tax credits.
Principal photography on the film began on October 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
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. In May 2015, Vincent D'Onofrio was announced to be playing a former cop turned car thief and gang-leader. 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. A few weeks later, Jessica McNamee signed on to play Lindsey Taylor, a tough young California Highway Patrol officer. In November, Jane Kaczmarek joined the film to play the police captain. In March 2016, it was announced that Ryan Hansen would join the film.
CHiPs was originally scheduled to be released on August 11, 2017, but it was pushed up from August 11, 2017, to March 24, 2017, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
CHiPs grossed $18.6 million in the United States and Canada and $6.9 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $25.5 million, against a production budget of $25 million.
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. The film made $500,000 from Thursday night previews at 2,400 theaters. It went on to debut to $7.6 million, finishing 7th at the box office. In its second weekend the film grossed $4 million (a drop of 48.7%), finishing 9th at the box office.
CHiPs received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 16% based on 96 reviews with an average rating of 3.6/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a score 28 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.
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.'"
Writing for RogerEbert.com, Simon Abrams gave the film 0.5/4 stars and criticized its reliance on crude jokes, saying: "Because who needs empathy, human characters, good action, or witty banter when you can just leer at a woman from behind while she rewards an unworthy character with musky, manly, lady-objectifying sex?"