After 17 years, the sporadically-anticipated sequel to the 2001’s Super Troopers has pulled into cinemas. Written and starring the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Heffernan) and directed by their very own Chandrasekhar, Super Troopers 2 is what you would expect from a sequel of a cult classic.
In short, it has its funny moments while also relying heavily on rehashed jokes from from the first film. In long, it’s a bit of a go-nowhere re-plot from the first film as well – the recently-dismissed Troopers have been temporarily reinstated to ease in a transfer of land in a small town on the Vermont-Quebec border. However, they get resistance from the soon-to-be-American Quebec locals (including the local RCMP), and in the process stumble upon a smuggling ring.
The film leans heavily on the fact that it’s a sequel to a much-beloved frat house staple. A long segment is a dedicated montage to recreating the crew’s roadside pranks from Super Troopers to an exhausting end. The film, intentionally or not, comes across as an hour-and-a-half of “hey, remember when this happened?”
Super Troopers 2 starts surprisingly strong, with cameos from Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr,, poking fun at itself and sticking it to sequel culture. But that self awareness unravels fast as the film fades from what turned out to be a dream sequence into an early-oughts frat boy comedy – homophobia and all.
Broken Lizard reached the low bar they set for themselves with Super Troopers 2 and, despite that, the film is infectiously funny – if you’re into their kind of thing. The troupe has great timing and chemistry amongst themselves (though at times it’s not worth straining to see what most of them as individuals bring to the table). The real show stealers, however, are the Mounties (played by Canadians Will Sasso and Tyler Labine, and American Hayes MacArthur) and Rob Lowe as the town’s mayor (who goes by the dubious nickname The Halifax Explosion). These four, while often played off for typical and tired jokes about Canadiana, add a refresher from the hardcore brodown that is Broken Lizard’s afternoon tea.
Calling Super Troopers 2 disappointing is giving Super Troopers more credit than it deserves. The sequel is not necessarily “disappointing”. It just delivers on what reasonable expectations one should have for a Broken Lizard flick – interpret that how you wish.
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Trevor Jeffery: @TrevorSJeffery