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Film / CHiPs

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CHiPs is the 2017 film adaptation, starring Michael Peña, writer and director Dax Shepard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, and Rosa Salazar.

The film follows FBI Agent Castillo (Peña) as he is sent undercover in the California Highway Patrol as "Ponch" to investigate a series of armoured truck robberies that the FBI suspects involves CHP officers (who are, in fact, a crew of CHP officers led by Officer Ray Kurtz (D'Onofrio). There he partners with Jon Baker (Shepard), a former motocross star and probationary CHP officer, and together they investigate the case while Baker remains unaware of Ponch's true identity.



  • A-Team Firing: Baker fires an entire magazine at one of the robbers while they're both standing still and doesn't hit anything. Then the robber pulls out his own gun...
  • Actor Allusion:
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Castillo/Ponch can’t go an hour without finding a public restroom in which to jerk off, due to his sex addiction.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Baker is uncomfortably honest about everything, gives away personal details like it's small talk, is incredibly eccentric and has an expertise in motorcycles.
  • Anything That Moves: Ponch is shown to sleep with just about any woman with a pulse, which only further fuels Baker's speculation that Ponch has a sex addiction.
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  • Asshole Victim: Karen treats John horribly, even for exes, so her getting tazed in her swimming pool, kidnapped, and held hostage is not entirely undeserved.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Baker's motorcycle expertise comes in handy when he's able to identify the exact make and model of the bikes used in the robbery from a cell phone video taken of the robbers riding away, based on the engine noise and the type of bike identified from eyewitness accounts. In fact, he's not even looking at the video when he does this.
  • Bilingual Backfire: While riding in the ambulance at the end, Baker asks Ponch and the paramedic to speak in Spanish so he won't understand what they're saying about him while he's making out with Officer Perez. It backfires hilariously when they start talking about how hot Perez is and whether Baker "eats ass" and Perez scolds them because she speaks Spanish, too.
  • Brick Joke: Castillo shooting his partner Clay Allen. More than once.
  • Bury Your Gays: Zigzagged. The Plot-Triggering Death involves the Dirty Cop ringleader threatening one of his men with the life of his gay lover. The latter disappears from the plot, and there's another Camp Gay CHP officer ("Gay Brian") who survives the whole movie.
  • The Cameo: Maya Rudolph and David Koechner appear at the police academy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: One of Jon's arm bones has to be held together with titanium. The kind strong enough to help Jon stay intact after getting run over by a humvee, and deflect bullets.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: After Ponch introduces himself to Kurtz, Kurtz asks him if he knows a particular officer from his "old" unit, Bob Lynn, who Ponch pretends to know, calling him "Asian Bob". When Kurtz suggests that Bob is actually white, Ponch recovers by saying he actually meant a different officer named Bob Lin. Later on, when Kurtz and another officer are looking into Ponch's cover identity, they actually find an Asian officer named Bob Lin (that Ponch had his FBI colleagues insert into the database to back up his cover story).
  • Cowboy Cop: Castillo/Ponch gets the job done but he also annoys the shit out of his FBI boss, played by Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (he even shoots his partner when he's taken hostage in the opening sequence after the criminal overpowers him while being arrested). His recklessness later costs him his FBI job when he tracks down Kurtz's son and ends up not only ruining a DEA sting operation (and in the process accidentally shoots his FBI partner ''again''), but gets Kurtz's son killed as well (see Off with His Head!). And that's before he accidentally sexts his boss, Captain Lindel (Jane Kaczmarek)...
  • Darker and Edgier: And at the same time, more juvenile than the original TV series.
  • Determinator: Jon Baker, survivor of a dozen motorcross injuries, takes a handful of painkillers every morning just to get through the tryouts for the CHP, all just to salvage his relationship.
  • Dirty Cop: Officer Kurtz (D'Onofrio) is the ringleader of the armoured truck robberies.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Subverted. Karen looks like she wants to rekindle her marriage with Baker at the end and asks to ride in the ambulance with him, but Baker turns her down, stating that she's "kind of a dick".
  • Driven to Suicide: Kurtz forces helicopter pilot TJ to commit suicide by jumping out of his helicopter as punishment for stealing from him after a previous heist by holding his partner (and lover) hostage.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kurtz is robbing the trucks in order to raise money to get his drug-addicted son out of Los Angeles and into treatment.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: During the first robbery, Kurtz drags a woman out of her car. Not because he needs the car, but because her car was directly behind the armoured truck and she would have been killed when the explosive charge on the door went off. This is proven totally justified when the explosive goes off and not only wrecks the woman's car, but blows up the truck behind it (thankfully, the driver quickly bailed after he realised what was going to happen).
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Jon makes the jump off an improvised ramp into Kurtz's compound, then encourages Ponch to make the jump like they were in a sports movie - unfortunately a shotgun blast sent the ramp into a bad angle, and Ponch makes the jump - into a ditch.
  • Fair Cop: Jessica McNamee as Officer Taylor and Rosa Salazar as Officer Perez. Ponch also describes Captain Lindel as having a "tight" body. Obviously not standard for the CHP though, when a nurse mentions a suspect left with a "super pretty CHP officer" Perez states that he must mean Taylor, which all the other officers agree with.
  • Fingore: Ponch gets three of his fingers shot off in the climactic gun battle.
  • Functional Addict: Baker is unable to move without taking painkillers by the handful, due to his long list of motocross-related injuries.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: Officer Perez wouldn’t miss so many shots in the climactic gunfight if the flip-up rear sight of her AR-15 wasn’t folded down.
  • Hidden Depths: His knowledge of bikes aside, Jon Baker's Sherlock Scan skill lets him figure out that the dead cop's home isn't his only one. No work bench, no gun safe...
  • I Choose to Stay: Castillo has to be sworn into the CHP to take on Kurtz. He doesn't take it back at the end.
  • I Have Your Wife: Kurtz takes Baker's wife hostage in the film's climax.
  • Interservice Rivalry: A pair of LAPD bicycle patrol officers join a pursuit, only to get mocked by Perez.
  • It's Personal: Kurtz had been keeping his operation well under the radar for a while... until the sight of his own son dying causes him to go apeshit, running over Jon with his humvee.
  • Kung-Shui: Parish, one of the CHP veterans, threatens our heroes when they have to talk to the dead cop's wife. The second time they go there, they do far more damage to her home than each other (Jon is clearly grabbing more things to break on Parish!)
  • Made of Iron: Kurtz - a bad shot from Jon hits the same door-busting explosives they used on an armored van, right next to him - and he survives!
  • The Mole: Officer Taylor is revealed to part of Kurtz's crew.
  • Not So Different: Turns out both Jon and Reed Jr were both former motorcross champions - while Reed chose to wallow in drugs and self-pity, ultimately getting caught up in Kurtz's schemes, Jon sought to salvage the bits of his life he had left (albeit with the help of different drugs).
  • Obviously Evil: Played for laughs when our heroes narrow down the list of suspects, and they're convinced that it's Kurtz just from his profile pic.
  • Off with His Head!: Kurtz's son is decapitated after he rides into a wire connecting a broken down car to a tow truck.
  • Reality Ensues: Castillo’s opening case (and his career) are in major jeopardy due to his grudge against the suspect, shooting his partner to get the suspect, naked pictures of the suspect’s wife on his phone, his own dick pics on her phone, and his admission of having had sex with said wife. Multiple times.
  • Remake Cameo: Erik Estrada (the original "Ponch") as a paramedic at the end of the film.
  • Riches to Rags: Baker is a former freestyle motocross star whose wife (Bell) left him after he lost all his sponsors. He still lives at his home, but his wife's exiled him to the guest house. Later, Karen sells the house without telling Baker, who comes back "home" to see the new owner moving in.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: One of the LA bicycle cops when Jon gets run over by Kurtz. So Perez wasn't that far off the mark...
  • Sex Addiction: Baker repeatedly offers Ponch unsolicited advice on him possibly having a sex addiction.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Karen has a scene coming out of the pool in a red swimsuit.
  • Shout-Out: "Where we're gong, we don't need doors."
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Completely unrealistic, but Played for Laughs.
  • There Was a Door: Invoked and then played for laughs when Jon and Ponch take Kurtz's humvee, crash it out the side of his criminal den... and go straight into the ditch Ponch had just trashed his bike in.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Due to Jon having a massive hangup with entering strangers' homes. And mid-sting-operation is the worst possible time.
  • Vulgar Humor: Jokes about sex and bodily fluids abound.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Ponch repeatedly offers Baker unsolicited advice on whether his wife is cheating on him (which she very obviously is).


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