**½/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B-
starring Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Rosa Salazar, Vincent D'Onofrio
written and directed by Dax Shepard
by Bill Chambers I can't say I was surprised to see another movie based on a television series flop when CHIPS failed to earn back its meagre $25 million budget last spring. 21 Jump Street is the only recent one that's stuck, and that had star power behind it, as well as a stubborn presence in pop culture thanks to Johnny Depp. Plus--and this is important--it was good. CHIPS is driven by career supporting actors, and, like Baywatch after it, perhaps, is based on a show that people remember like the candy of their childhood: wistfully, but with reflex revulsion. And unlike when, say, The Flintstones came out (1994, the heyday of the TV-to-film adaptation), there's no rerun culture cultivating "new" fans of "CHiPS". If the title still produces a look of recognition in younger viewers, it's probably as a synecdoche for cop shows the way that "Gunsmoke" and "Bonanza" are synonymous with westerns. The specifics--was there a guy named Porch or Punch or something?--have long since evaporated from the collective conscious. Such is the fate of most pre-prestige television in the age of cord-cutting and so-called "YouTube stars," but studios today lack the courage to be originators, preferring even the elusive clothing of a brand's ghost to sending a movie out into the world naked.