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Review: Super Troopers 2 (2018)

Super Troopers 2 (2018)

Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar

Premise: A sequel to the 2002 film. A Vermont State Patrol office is transferred to a region on the US-Canada border that is going to be annexed to American jurisdiction. The troopers run afoul of resentful locals and uncover a smuggling ring.

What Works: Since its release in 2002, the original Super Troopers has developed a cult following. The movie found its audience on home video and it has a dedicated fan base. In fact, the sequel was financed by a very successful crowd funding campaign. The fans who loved Super Troopers so much that they paid for the sequel will probably appreciate the new film. It brings back most of the major characters and its sense of humor is consistent with the original.

What Doesn’t: Super Troopers was the product of Broken Lizard, a comedy troupe that achieved some mainstream success in the 2000s with films such as Club Dredd and Beerfest. A lot of comedy films from that time haven’t aged well but Broken Lizard’s films were terrible even then. Their work is derivate of the movies Adam Sandler was turning out a decade ago but Broken Lizard somehow managed to be shriller, stupider, and less funny. Seventeen years after the original Super Troopers, Broken Lizard hasn’t evolved much and Super Troopers 2 has the feel of a movie that’s a decade too late. That’s evidenced in the opening sequence which includes cameos by Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr., actors who starred in forgettable comedies of the 2000s and whose careers have since cooled. Super Troopers 2 reminds everyone how awful those early 2000s comedy films were while managing to be even worse. This movie is not funny at all. It has nothing actually resembling a joke. That would require a set up and pay off. Super Troopers 2 is just a series of inane episodes. The attempts at humor are either frat boy pranks or coarse language as well as the occasional sex gag. But the problem isn’t that Super Troopers 2 is low brow. The problem is that Broken Lizard can’t find a way to make it funny or original. There’s no imagination to the set pieces nor does the film have any creative vulgarity. Super Troopers 2 is just bland and occasionally mean spirited. Despite the time that’s passed between the first and second movies, it’s quite obvious that there was no thought put into Super Troopers 2. Comedies need a basic narrative structure even if it’s just a framework on which to hang the gags; even flimsy stories like Caddyshack have a narrative shape. Super Troopers 2 doesn’t have that. The best the filmmakers can do is to halfheartedly recreate the same criminal scenario from the first film and do it less well. Super Troopers 2’s lack of purpose is also evident in the characters. Everyone is an idiot. That could be funny if they were also charming or doing something that made them interesting like the characters of Dumb and Dumber. The titular characters of Super Troopers 2 aren’t likable at all. They are just flat and annoying. Super Troopers 2 also fails to have any fun with policing. The original film proved very popular among law enforcement because it had a few clever moments that poked fun at police work. This movie has none of that and so it doesn’t deliver on what made the original Super Troopers work for its core audience.

Bottom Line: Super Troopers 2 is a lousy sequel to a bad movie. The people who forked over money in advance to get it made might be amused by it. But the fact that Super Troopers 2 was crowd funded makes its laziness all the more infuriating.

Episode: #697 (May 6, 2018)