April 16, 2018
‘Super Troopers 2’ Review: A Perfectly Funny, “Fans Only” Sequel
Pinnacles of cinematic cult achievement are rarely surpassed by their long-gestating sequels, and – as Rodney “Rod” Farva might say – I’m not gonna tickle your taint over Super Troopers 2. Super Troopers remains king, a film that withstood my college years and still delights to this day, but numero dos is still a goofy state patrolman farce worth your time. For as much crap as these boys give our pancake-pounding “Canucklefucks” to the North, American pot-shots are none the duller. With dashes of nostalgia but plenty of furtherment in highway havoc antics, wheels keep spinning once Thorny and his crew reach tops speeds and hold momentum. It just takes a hot minute to get there, so patience is a must.
That and a regulation-sized mustache.
It’s been years since Vermont’s most shenanigan-prone state troopers took over the local Spurbury Police Department – a short-lived victory since their badges were subsequently revoked due to what’s dubbed the “Fred Savage Incident.” Toiling away at hard labor jobs, their luck turns when Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) springs surprise good news. Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Mac (Steve Lemme), Foster (Paul Soter), Farva (Kevin Heffernan) and Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) think they’re meeting for another fishing vacation, but O’Hagan reveals that Vermont’s borderline is being readjusted to engulf a small Canadian town which they’ll inherit from local Mounties (Will Sasso, Tyler Labine and Hayes MacArthur). Of course, prankster roguishness lands them in hot water before long, but a high-profile bust might save their asses (once again).
Let’s not kid. Super Troopers 2 is Super Troopers all over again and THAT’S FINE. Highway pullovers are once again competitions to see who can land the most epic ruse, rival law enforcement pull their own stunts and a random drug find could end up securing their jobs long-term. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Some might see this as a sign of weakness – why not have them train rookies or something? – but blue-collar humor is what Broken Lizard does best. Some jokes belong locked behind bars, but way more stick in the name of Farva’s manic patriotism or Danny DeVito arguments. The boys are back, kicking tires with a new bag of tricks.
Along for the disaster are a host of casted additives. Rob Lowe stars as Canadian mayor Guy Le Franc, Chris Traeger with a Canadian accent and love of brothel ownership. Emmanuelle Chriqui the gorgeous wedge between Rabbit and Farva who can make a word like “dickwad” sound adorable in French Quebecois. The above mentioned mounties are sometimes a bit overdrawn as Canadian stereotypes, but their rage-freakout when phone ringing interrupts hockey “Game Night” showcases satirical wits. Paul Walter Hauser does his best Farva impersonation, Jim Gaffigan cameos, Fred Savage pays off. Character acting is not an issue.
Smartly, Super Troopers 2 isn’t just a motorcade down memory lane. Maybe a detour? You might hear “enhance” or witness someone get offered a liter of cola, but nostalgic reliance isn’t priority. Rabbit might or might not almost have another bear encounter, but instead of cheaply playing the “Bearf&ck*r!” card to death, another squad member steps into the baited trap (no animals were harmed, don’t worry). Same Broken Lizard’s dude-bro humor, same intoxicated goonishness, same old highway guard in a new syrup-slathered potential bust. Except there’s no waffle sauce chugging this time?! Missed opportunity.
This time around, the gang goes for long cons that either play gangbusters or meander without comedic restraint. An opening skit featuring one American Pie alum and a Wayans brother rocks on without Led Zeppelin’s cool, “Oh, Canada!” jokes focus on the same flapjacks-and-pucks humor, and Farva’s offensive rambling can jabber without being checked or balanced. But the setups that work? They absolutely slay – some mentioned already, others not to be revealed – and new ticket games like “speaking only in French” are a playful update on old favorites (cussing and regressed maturity included). And when mood dips? Thorny’s addiction to female hormone pill Flova Scotia and Cox’s Captain O’Hagan are there to save the day with a well-timed interjection. When in doubt, one of the Lizards always steps in to lift scripted lulls, just not as quickly as we’d always hope.
This is, in every conceivable way, a thematic continuation of Broken Lizard’s off-the-wall policing universe that once made them into household names. If you love the gonzo time-killing slapsticks in Super Troopers, you’re going to enjoy the border-crossing flavor of Super Troopers 2. Not a fan the original? 2018’s sequel won’t change your mind. No point in spoiling jokes or revealing much more in plot considerations, just know that legacies are more than alive. Maybe not a flawless open and shut case of comedic perfection, but a ride-along worth taking no doubt (for “Super” fans only).
Unless you’re Fred Savage.
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
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