by Tammy Vrieze
When my cousin was eleven years old she wrote “I love Erik Estrada” all over my uncle’s dusty car with a stick. After an overdue trip to the car wash her love became as evident to the world as the car’s dire need for a new paint job. Personally I thought Bruce Penhall was the sexiest officer on CHiP’s, but I’m a couple years younger than her.
Ponch and John are reunited in CHiP’s ’99 and aside from the gray hair, beer bellies, and a few wrinkles the guys haven’t changed much. Ponch is still the risk taker and John is still the responsible one. It’s the same gang having returned from the 1977-1983 TV series and I would bet you money the writers are back also. They may have called this CHiP’s ’99, but I promise it will bring you back to 1980–and being a fan I wouldn’t want it any other way.
An auto theft ring provides us with our main antagonists of the film and I won’t lie to you, the outcome is not hard to predict. But there are some surprises in store. John is now captain of the force and Bruce is promoted to sergeant. John’s new wife has entered the picture as well as Poncherello’s son, Frank Jr. And how could I forget Judge Judy’s and Johnny Cochran’s special guest appearances to settle a certain dog poop dilemma.
CHiP’s ’99 was made for cable by TNT but is now available on video cassette. The original cast members were all rounded up for the film as well as a few new faces that fit right in. They’re led by Larry Wilcox and my cousin’s dream boat, Erik Estrada, who share the screen with Robert Pine, Paul Korver, David Ramsey, and Bruce Penhall to name a few. But sadly, Bruce no longer appeals to me. Not even in the clips from the original show that are thrown in throughout the movie. But if feathered hair ever makes a come back I might have to look him over again.