As Suspected, ‘CHiPS’ Reeks of Gay Panic and General Horribleness

As Suspected, ‘CHiPS’ Reeks of Gay Panic and General Horribleness

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We pretty much called it in January, upon release of its first trailer: CHiPS is super scared of dicks. Now that reviews of the film — starring Michael Peña and Dax Shepard as two officers on the California Highway Patrol — are in, it’s clear that the entire film is filled with gay panic, internalized homophobia and just general grossity. (We made that word up.)

It turns out the locker room scene we watched in the trailer — in which Peña’s “Ponch” character is, like, super grossed out by penises — is just as bad, if not worse, when you see the entire thing in the full film.

We initially said about that scene in the trailer:

Michael Peña’s character squirms in terror when, in a locker room, he discovers that his partner’s penis exists, and that another guy’s penis also exists, and that the two guys’ penises continue to exist while they hug.

Here’s what A.V. Club had to say about the entire scene:

[Peña’s character Ponch] is so straight, in fact, that he gets defensive and angry when he’s greeted by a man in his underwear, even if they happen to be in a locker room at the time. As Ponch explains it, it’s not homophobic to have a phobia of another man’s body, as long as the dude whose dickprint is squicking you out also isn’t gay. Hate to break it to you, Ponch, but internalized homophobia is still homophobia. And this movie relies so heavily on tired gay panic tropes, it’s almost a relief when it changes tacks for an extended riff on how hilarious it is to make out with ugly chicks. Almost.

Who’s to blame for the release of this 14-year-old-boy schlock? That’d be Dax Shepard, husband of Kristen Bell, “who must love her husband very much to agree to play the ball-busting stereotype she portrays in this film.”

The A.V. Club also knocks the film for its graphic violence, which by this point is just another one of those action-comedy tropes Hollywood can’t seem to steer away from. (But why would it, when 14-year-olds think it’s dope?)

This weekend, spend your money seeing a film that’s mature enough to realize that making homosexuality the butt of every joke is so last season.

Life, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, is out today, as is the remake of Power Rangers. Get Out is probably still in your local theater, and it’s amazing. Oh, and a lot of people are talking up some Disney flick about a girl and her hairy boyfriend.

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