Dax Shepard lets 'Chips' fall where it may

To understand why fans are so upset, one must remember what a gentle, family-oriented show "CHiPs" was. He misses the mark with all three.

First, the writing. The original TV series was no great work of art, but at least it was a fun mix of chase scenes and people stories. He's partnered with rookie Officer Jon Baker (Shepard), a former pro motorcyclist whose life is falling apart, who hopes becoming a cop will save his failed marriage.

During their collaboration, Shepard said the hardest acting challenge was when "Michael is throwing me in the tub and gets grossed out", he said.

Shepard's script doesn't do them many favors, either. Ever since a fart on the playground generated giggles, these kind of jokes have been used to generate a few laughs. But this Jon and Ponch are so inept, so distracted by hot chicks and pseudo-philosophical conversations about "homophobia" and "closure", that buying them as actual law enforcement is too much of a stretch. Everyone ready for this summer's big-screen "Baywatch" movie?

The Times reviewer wrote of the rated-R flick, "The language might be mature, but don't be misled: There's nothing here that rises above the level of the playground". It makes as much sense as the one officer who looks to be older than the pyramids. They accidentally destroy vehicles, cause fiery crashes, blow stuff up and sometimes shoot the wrong people. But in a video clip from a recent premiere, he described it as "a movie you have to view with your adult sense of humor".

Together, the bickering crime-fighters stir up a storm on the streets of Los Angeles.

The movie is as heavy on the product placement and casual sexism as it is with the fast motors and explosives.

The film opens with the words "The California Highway Patrol does not endorse this film — at all", and it's easy to see why.

Uneasy Riders: Michael Peña, left as Ponch, and Dax Shepard as Jon. "I had just come from another movie right before CHIPS, so I worked out several times a week, but I knew when I got on to ride, I had to bring my A game because once you begin you definitely knew the danger involved". Peña can hide behind just being a hired hand. There's some okay stuff, but when a movie can't even give Kristen Bell (the director's wife!) any amusing moments, it's probably not worth the trip.

  • Salvatore Jensen