A hilarious mustache rehash.
After 16 years and a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, Broken Lizard has brought their iconic Super Troopers back for more shenanigans. Living up to the cult status the original has attained was never going to be easy, but Super Troopers 2 does succeed at standing alongside the first film, though it relies a little too much on your good will towards it.
Super Troopers 2 picks up with Vermont’s finest down on their luck, having all been fired from the Spurbury Police Department after a celebrity ride-along gone wrong. Luckily for them, their old friend Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) has a geopolitical crisis that needs solving: a recent reassessment of the U.S./Canada border has concluded that the town of St. Georges Du Laurent, Quebec is actually on American soil. The governor needs to phase out and replace the Mountie unit keeping peace in the town, so who better to enlist the help of than a group of guys famous for antagonizing the citizenry?
While the setup may be different enough, what follows is going to feel extremely familiar to anyone who’s seen the original: the Troopers find themselves struggling under increased scrutiny to maintain any level of professionalism, even when faced with losing their jobs over it, and somehow stumble upon an illegal smuggling operation, which they must thwart. Again.
It’s pretty clear from the get-go that the plot is never going to matter all that much here. It’s just a tool to move you on to the next joke – in all honesty, the original wasn’t any different. The only thing that matters to Broken Lizard is one thing: are you laughing?
Rest assured, Super Troopers 2 is very funny. All of the Broken Lizard guys fall into their old roles effortlessly, and seeing Brian Cox game as ever to corral them as Captain O’Hagan hasn’t lost any of its luster. The most notable new addition here is Rob Lowe’s Mayor Guy Le Franc. Guy’s a local legend whose wholesome nature is constantly being undercut by his odd life choices, like his risqué moonlighting gig which I won’t spoil here. Let’s just say it’s a fun reveal. Lowe’s performance is blissfully devoid of self-consciousness and he doesn’t hesitate to jump in on some of the movie’s raunchiest jokes.
If you’re familiar with any of Broken Lizard’s movies, you’ll know what you’re getting into in terms of how far they’re willing to push the envelope. While the movie gets away with most of its edgier material, some of it is just lame. There’s a subplot involving one of the Troopers getting hooked on menstrual cramp meds, becoming increasingly, stereotypically feminine. The bit is tired as soon as it starts… and it continues throughout the rest of the movie. It almost completely takes the Trooper off the board, with most of his screen time devoted to selling a joke that I don’t think anyone’s really going to want to buy.
Super Troopers 2 reliably finds ways to reinvent some of the most classic jokes from the first movie in ways just different enough to not feel like a total rehash. Yes, there’s a scene of the Troopers (in Mountie garb) pulling people over and screwing with them, but this time, they’re doing it for a reason: they need to give their Mountie rivals a bad reputation. The movie even devotes some time to getting a little meta – Foster and Farva have a conversation about how odd it is that they’ve never been alone (y’know, in the same scene) together. Two Troopers finally realize that conversations they have over the roof of a car they’ve pulled over are perfectly audible to the driver inches away from them, calling into question how any of the games they play have ever worked in the first place.
Though most of the returning jokes play well the second time around, you’ll probably enjoy the new material just as much, if not more. Moments like Farva’s first time back on radio and the, uh, “bloodhounds” the Troopers use to track down a cache of drugs will have you in stitches. It does feel sometimes like Super Troopers 2 is more comfortable playing the hits, and these new scenarios feel outnumbered and overshadowed by the revamped old ones.