Creating feature length films from old TV series must be a popular thing to do these days. This year alone we get CHIPS and Baywatch, with both upping the adult content as opposed to the much more tame TV shows. I have not seen any of Dax Shepard’s previous directional efforts, nor did I know that he was making films. Having not experienced the show, I thought the film had its moments but it can’t avoid being generic or unoriginal.
The film is about two highway patrol officers who are very different from each other, and how they try to solve a case. One of them played by Michael Pena is an undercover FBI agent with a sex addiction and his partner is a former professional bike rider, whose long term injuries and relationship with his estranged wife plague him. I’m not sure if the original show has the similar basis for character personality but this and the chemistry between Pena and Shepard worked for me. I like the buddy cop relationship so I have no problem with it in film as long as its written well.
The chemistry between the leads is good and some of the back and forth between the two is done well. Michael Pena gives a refined performance and I wonder why he doesn’t lead more often in film. Other than that the plot can be simplified, there’s an over complication of moving pieces that detracts from the film hitting with comedic elements. There is sufficient action in the film, especially bike based chases. I didn’t mind the adult humor in it as I find it better than something tame and PG-13.
The side characters aren’t exactly built well. As I stated there are a lot of moving pieces and characters that come and go so its hard to really find out why people (especially the villainous group) are doing what they do. I will say though I like Kristen Bell in that bitchy uncaring role, the same of which she plays in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This was one of the first times that I was seeing Rose Salazar and I definitely want to see her in more things, she’s beautiful. Overall, the film doesn’t have much originality and doesn’t really stand out in memory. However, a few laughs are provided and there was enough going to provide a few moments of fun. I don’t see a sequel faring well based on the reception.