Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Stars: Brian Cox, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
Super Troopers is the debut film from a comic troupe formed by a group of friends who all met at college (director Jay Chandrasekhar and team of co-writers Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske), and who work under the collective title of Broken Lizard. Super Troopers is a deliberately dumb, crude and gross comedy that comes across as something like a cross between the Police Academy series and any number of genre spoofs from the Naked Gun, Flying High, National Lampoon Vacation, or Scary Movie series.
The film is largely set in Vermont, where a stretch of highway falls under the joint jurisdiction of both the Highway Patrol and the State Police. The highway patrol (played by the film’s quintet of creators) delight in playing practical jokes on bemused motorists, and their rivalry with the State Police often leads to fisticuffs and brawls, much to the chagrin of their apathetic boss (Brian Cox). But government budget cuts threaten to close down one branch of local law enforcement and the rivalry between the two groups heats up. The only way for the highway patrol to ensure their survival after a series of embarrassing incidents lies in busting a smuggling ring that seems to be operating in the area with impunity.
Super Troopers is a deliberately stupid comedy, with lots of tasteless, gross out moments that are aimed firmly at an adolescent audience. The creative team behind the film all seem to be having an enjoyable time with the material, and at times much of the unsubtle and politically incorrect humour is wonderfully infectious.
But, as with most films of this ilk, the humour is of the hit and miss nature, and many moments fall flat. There are also a couple of absolutely tasteless moments that will turn more sensitive members of the audience off completely – so be warned! Super Troopers is enjoyable enough but is a film that will not appeal to everyone.