Logo for the action movie CHIPS on DStv

Dax Shephard, Michael Peña, Kristen Bell

70s buddy cop TV series CHiPs gets a remake, bringing Officer Jon Baker and Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherello back to the big time, in all their cheesy glory.

 

An undercover FBI agent named Castillo arrests the criminal who killed his partner after a robbery. Meanwhile, at the California Highway Patrol (CHP) training center, rookie motorcycle officer Jon Baker graduates on a probationary basis. Baker, a former freestyle motocross racer, is looking to start a new career after the sport left his body damaged after years of abuse. He’s living on pain killers and sleeping in the guest house after he and his wife had separated.

 

The FBI agent, now undercover as Frank Poncherello, is sent to the CHP to investigate an armoured car robbery, with circumstances pointing to the involvement of corrupt cops at the department. He’s partnered with Baker, as an inexperienced decoy for Ponch’s investigation. Since they’re being forced to work together, the inexperienced rookie and hardened veteran clash, rather than click, while trying to nail the bad guys.

 

The corrupt officers are apparently led by Lt. Ray Kurtz, who is stealing the money from armoured cars to get his heroin-addicted son out of Los Angeles. With his eye off the ball, Ponch inadvertently ruins another agent’s investigation and is fired from the FBI. A twist in the ruined investigation gives him a way back into law enforcement, and, given the choice between unemployment or a permanent switch to the CHP, he chooses the latter – despite his misgivings about working with Baker.

 

Baker’s wife is then kidnapped as the duo begin to circle the corrupt cops and they must work together to rescue her – and put an end to the internal corruption at the CHP.

 

Shepard’s remake harnesses the full 1970’s cheese of the original TV series, which surprisingly had the backing of the California Police agency it was based on. It’s a classic biddy movie, in the mould of 48 Hours; Starsky and Hutch; The Dukes of Hazzard and 21 Jump Street. Keep an eye out for Shepard’s real-life wife Kristen Bell, who plays his character’s wife in the film.

 

While Shepard is a motorcycle fanatic who confessed that he used the film as an opportunity to ride bikes he loved through his favourite parts of Los Angeles, Peña had to learn to ride motorcycles especially for the film. “I got on the first time and thought ‘I could die – and I have a kid at home!’ Riding a motorcycle will humble you, quick”.

 

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