Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Written by Broken Lizard
Seventeen years ago when comedy troupe Broken Lizard, made up of Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske, released their now cult hit Super Troopers, very few thought it would ever beget a sequel, especially as time wore on. In fact, Broken Lizard, who went on to release films such as Club Dread, Beerfest, and The Slammin’ Salmon, has been relatively quiet in the current decade, which makes this film even more a curiosity. But with the efforts of crowdfunding from the original film’s passionate fan base, the group was able to get back together to make this sequel. And while its existence is entirely unnecessary, those who really wanted it are the ones who will really enjoy it. If you sat there in 2001 hoping it would never receive a sequel, then stay the hell away. What would you even be thinking trying to check this out?
When we left the Vermont Highway Patrol, they had just busted the Burbury local PD in a drug bust, but as the film quickly informs us, they were soon thereafter dispatched from their post after an unfortunate ride along with actor Fred Savage. Flash forward to today, and Vermont is on the precipice of gobbling up a Canadian border town thanks to a surverying snafu that went unnoticed until now. So now the gang is tasked with returning to duty to ease the transition of the town to its true American roots, which involves dealing with Canadian mounties (Will Sasso, Hayes MacArthur, Tyler Labine), the town’s mayor (Rob Lowe), and a pretty Canadian government lackey (Emmanuelle Chriqui). But in easing the transition, the crew once again find themselves in the middle of a drug smuggling operation.
As I said in my opening, Super Troopers 2 is a film that doesn’t need to exist, but exist it does, so fans of the film should embrace it as such. As any fan serving sequel should be, Troopers 2 is merely a rehash of the first, complete with recycled jokes and shtick. While that may sound like an indictment upon the 17 year sequel, it’s in fact its very strength. It doesn’t take chances, it basically recycles its plot of a drug smuggling ring, but it is just different enough to make it enjoyable, while also being extremely faithful to the elements that made the first film successful. I was a fan of the original, while I am sure many others dismissed it as stupid (it is, but stupid funny). But to reiterate, Super Troopers 2 only exists for the fans. We’re not reinventing the wheel here, just trying for a few laughs.
And the film accomplishes just that. It’s a comedy film with a very low ceiling, but relatively high floor. It plays it safe and that’s just fine because there are plenty of moments and setups throughout to entertain with the occasional laugh and well earned belly buster. Perhaps more than most great comedies, Super Troopers 2 has its fair share of misses too, but it throws enough at the wall that what manages to stick is plenty to satiate the appetite for more Vermont Highway Patrol hijinx. One great benefit is that the cast fits right back into their uniforms quite naturally. It’s as though they were never gone from the roles, stepping right back into their pranks.
The film certainly takes many of its laughs from making light of Canadians, mostly in loving ways. I think the setup of the film affords plenty of scenarios which play to the strengths of the troupe. They know this, we know this. There is nothing surprising or overwhelming here, but they do what they do well enough to elicit the standard number of laughs to make this film a success in the eyes of this fan. It’s not a great comedy, but the laughs are there for those with an affinity for stupid comedy. I really still don’t see the point of this movie. It has a very limited audience, but that audience shouldn’t be disappointed with the finished product, and I guess that is about the best thing I can say about the film. Very few movies will be as cut and dry as this one. If you liked the first and think you might enjoy more. If not, then stay away. Simple as that.