Directed by: Dax Shepard | 101 minutes | action, comedy, crime | Actors: Michael Peña, Dax Shepard, Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, Ryan Hansen, Justin Chatwin, Kristen Bell, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosa Salazar, Mayar Rudolph, Richard T. Jones, Adam Rodriguez, Ben Falcone, Jane Kaczmarek, Angelique Kenney , Vida Guerra, Mara Marini, Kelly Richardson, Jackie Tohn
In ‘Chips’, two completely opposite cops are put together to hunt down a gang of robbers. This initially leads to a lot of arguing and entertaining moments. Gradually they grow closer to each other, gain each other’s respect and overcome not only their criminal opponents but also the prejudices they had towards each other. ‘Chips’ is a genuine buddy film.
The two agents on duty are Frank Poncherello (Michael Peña) and Jon Baker (Dax Shepard, who also directed the film). The former is an experienced, slick but also rather rash FBI agent, who is transferred to California after an undercover operation gone wrong in Florida. The lone womanizer has few problems with it. He thinks he can satisfy his lust for female beauty on the other side of the country as well.
The second is a former motocross racer who, with his wife on the brink of leaving him, sees a job with the police as the last resort for their relationship. Women like to see their father in a husband. Her father was a cop, so Baker should be too. The problem is that he doesn’t make much of it. He can’t shoot, the countless injuries he has suffered in motocross have not done him any good physically. And he still has some flaws. Only on his steel steed does he show prowess. It’s just enough to make him pass the police academy.
The only thing that binds the two is their recklessness on the road and the assignment that brought them together. The money robbers appear to have infiltrated the police. In their search for the doubles, the opposites naturally get in each other’s way. Poncherello hasn’t told his new partner about his work with the FBI, and with his assignment in mind, tries to withdraw from the daily police work. The bumbling Baker tries everything he can to keep his job by strictly following the rules. Not only do those clashes yield a slew of excruciatingly lame shit and dick jokes, but also some more effective interaction as the two try to psychologize each other. It is there where most of the humor of ‘Chips’ can be found.
An extra plus are the beautiful chase scenes on the motorcycle. Like true stunt pilots, the two cops and their opponents make the streets of Los Angeles unsafe. The special effects that come with it are flawless. Surprisingly, the fight scenes on the ground can’t measure up to that. The love plot also graces in superfluousness. ‘Chips’ is not bad, but it might have come out better if the film hadn’t been guided by childish asides.