Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Lynda Carter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Marisa Coughlan, Tyler Labine, Hayes MacArthur, Will Sasso, Paul Walter Houser, Rob Lowe, Brian Cox, Seann William Scott, Damon Wayans Jr., Jim Gaffigan, Fred Savage.
The original Super Troopers comedy was released in 2001. The work of a stoner comedy collective working under the title of Broken Lizard (who also gave us crass comedies like Beerfest and the slasher comedy Club Dread, etc), the raunchy, crass, juvenile comedy followed the silly and outlandish antics of a group of irresponsible patrolmen with the Vermont Highway Patrol as they played pranks on each other and helpless unsuspecting motorists. It was a piece of lowbrow dreck, but the recent big screen adaptation of tv series CHiPS made it seem like a masterpiece by comparison. The original Super Troopers was produced on a small budget, but it made a fortune at the box office and attracted a huge cult following. It was that same following that has largely been responsible for arranging the crowd funding for this belated sequel. This unnecessary sequel offers up much of the same – scatological puerile and largely unfunny physical humour – and lots of recycled jokes.
Following an incident involving tv star Fred Savage which destroyed their careers, the troopers have lost their jobs and are now forced to work menial jobs. But then they get a surprise visit from their former captain (Brian Cox) and the Vermont governor (tv’s Wonder Woman Lynda Carter).
A disputed border territory between Canada and the US, thanks to a redrawing of maps, is the setting for this film. To help ease the period of transition, Governor Jessman appoints the disgraced former members of the Vermont Highway Patrol back into active duty on a temporary basis, giving them a chance for redemption.
Their welcome into Canadian territory is not exactly warm. The town’s mayor Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe, slumming it) greets them in his hockey themed brothel and introduces to the three Mounties – Podien (Hayes MacArthur), Bellefuille (Tyler Labine) and Archambault (Will Sasso) – who will be accompanying them during the handover period. But the Mounties and the highway patrol officers spend most to the time playing practical jokes on each other, including letting a huge grizzly bear loose in their headquarters. In retaliation the highway patrol officers set out to give the Mounties a bad name and bloodied reputation by harassing motorists.
Very little of this is particularly funny and a lot of the humour falls flat and is borderline offensive. The bulk of the crass humour comes from the overbearing and oafish Farva (Heffernan), who is the butt of plenty of physical humour. Much of the humour also centres around the cultural differences between the two countries. And the main subplot kicks in when the cops stumble upon a well organised smuggling operation involving pills and guns.
The director is Jay Chandrasekhar, who co-wrote the script with stars and frequent collaborators Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske and Paul Soter. They don’t stray too far from the winning formula of the original. The writers throw everything at the screen here, and only some of it sticks. The film is more like a series of sketches rather than a cohesive whole. The outtakes shown during the end credits show that the cast and crew obviously had a blast making the film. It was clearly more fun to make than to watch.
The ensemble cast includes Brian Cox as the troop’s blustering and long-suffering Captain O’Hagan, reprising his role from the first film; Emmanuel Chriqui plays Canadian cultural attache Genevieve Aubois who acts as a liaison between the two rival law enforcement teams; with cameos from Seann William Scott (American Pie‘s Stifler) and Damon Wayans jr.
Super Troopers 2 will mainly appeal to 12-year-old boys and fans of the original who haven’t really gown up yet. Everyone else would be well advised to stay away.