I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Jared McMillan // Film Critic
SUPER TROOPERS 2
Rated R, 100 mintues.
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Cast: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cox, Marisa Coughlan, Seann William Scott, Damon Wayans Jr. and Lynda Carter
When SUPER TROOPERS burst on the scene in 2001, it did well in terms of gross over budget in its theatrical run. Once it hit home video, word-of-mouth spread about the comedy created by the comedy troupe known as Broken Lizard. Since then it has achieved cult status, from stoners to the occasional viewer just looking for some shenanigans. 17 years later, after some campaigning through Kickstarter, SUPER TROOPERS 2 has arrived just in time for your 4/20 celebration.
In this sequel, we follow those same five Vermont troopers – Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directed), Mac (Steve Lemme), Foster (Paul Soter), and good ol’ Farva (Kevin Heffernan) – as they adjust to lives after being on the force. Oh, they got their jobs back at the end of the first movie, however, due to an unfortunate ride-along incident regarding TV’s Fred Savage, they were shut down again. That is until Capt. O’Hagan (Brian Cox) gives them the opportunity to get their jobs back.
Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) tells the gang that there has been an error regarding the geography of the U.S./Canadian border, and, after adjusting the border correctly, they’ve inherited a French-Canadian town and need to go in to make sure they are acclimated to American laws. If they do well, they’re once again Vermont troopers. Of course, this leads to animosity with the townspeople, led by former minor league hockey great-turned-mayor Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe).
There are a lot of similar jokes in SUPER TROOPERS 2 from its predecessor, however, they come about as mere callbacks instead of repeating the same joke. The Broken Lizard team knows how to make things feel fresh but still paying tribute to their die-hard fans. A lot of the humor comes from their feud with the local Mounties (Tyler Labine, Will Sasso, Hayes MacArthur), as well as trying to outdo each other. The humor goes non-stop whether in the form of dialogue, sight gags, or mere facial expressions.
The barrel of laughs does well to cover up a lot of the flaws in the movie. The previously-mentioned plot has the same elements from the first movie to try and fill the gaps. They still are trying to be good so as not to get fired, they still come across a smuggling ring, one of them still gets a romantic angle with one of the locals (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Also, the editing can be abrupt and the movie limps to the finish line and just kind of ends.
But that’s OK. SUPER TROOPERS 2 isn’t here to be some kind of commentary or have deeper meaning. The term “dumb comedy” isn’t necessarily making a point to be stupid; it’s just another term to separate the levels of the comedy genre…the low-brow vs. the high-brow, if you will. They want to entertain you and run a bunch of jokes by you in hopes that you laugh and have 90 minutes of enjoyment about five Martin Riggs-level nihilists spoofing on the self-destructive cop archetype. So, kick back, get some popcorn and a liter o’ cola, and have fun.
SUPER TROOPERS is now playing in theaters nationwide.