From The Warner Archive: CHiPs ’99, 1998 (dir. Jon Cassar)

CHiPs originally aired on NBC from 1977 through 1983. Each episode followed a fairly regular formula featuring both a comic and a melodramatic tone. I’ve seen a handful of episodes in re-runs and I vaguely remembered when this reunion film aired on TNT, though I don’t think I watched it. If you are a fan of CHiPs, you’ll enjoy CHiPS ‘ 99, recently released by the Warner Archive. If you’re not. . .well, maybe you should skip this release. Many of the cast members of the show returned for this film and there are several winks and nods and straight-up flashbacks to the series. There are also some really great celebrity cameos that make this film decidedly 90s. Well, that and the ridiculously amazing use of 90s slang to make Ponch seem old.

I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Erik Estrada; I mean, just look at that grin! He was clearly having fun in this film and it was a treat to see him as Ponch again.

Same goes for Larry Wilcox. Both he and Estrada had the same great chemistry they had on the show, but with the added nostalgia factor.

The film features several cameos and flashbacks like the one above of characters that appeared in the original series.

Paul Korver tries really hard to be good, but you can see him trying and it’s kind of painful. He’s the new, young, CHP officer and a mirror for Ponch (I’ll expand on this in a second).

David Ramsey plays Korver’s partner, and the straight man like Wilcox. He gets the single best line of dialogue in the film:

– How can you work with that guy?
– I’m the by-the-books stickler who uses common sense and cool reason. He’s the stubborn yet crazy risk-taker with the occasional flash of genius. It’s a tried and true combination.

Claudette Mink gets to be pretty badass as the head of a car-jacking ring. She’s angry and yelling for most of the film and she really does not like it when her minions fuck up. My kind of lady.

And now comes the celebrity cameos. We’ve got Garry Marshall as a tour bus driver whose tour of Russians don’t know the names of any of the celebrities’ homes that he takes them to. I was alive in the 90s, so I’m pretty sure this ridiculous attempt at comedy was just as unfunny then as it comes off now.

How to date a film, part 1: feature Judge Judy in a main subplot.

How to date a film, part 2: feature Johnnie Cochran in that same subplot.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a review disc given to me by the Warner Archive, though the opinions are all my own.


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on November 21, 2012, in DVDs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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