Super Troopers 2: A Fun, Gag-Filled Sequel
Review by Aaron Haughton
9 years after their last film, The Slammin' Salmon, the Broken Lizard boys make their return as the characters that first catapulted them to cult status 17 years prior with their crowd-funded sequel to Super Troopers. It's as triumphant a return as one could hope, and it's filled with material that will likely give fans everything they're expecting (and maybe some more). The film does a nice job of twisting call back jokes in interesting and more meaningful ways, and despite being written prior to the 2016 election, it's a surprisingly relevant and pointed commentary on contemporary America.
Having grown up watching the first film, it was pretty exciting to be reacquainted with these characters again, especially Farva who dominates every scene he's in. Regardless of its apparent failings and imperfections, the sequel manages to capture the feel of the original, making it a fun-filled sequel with loads of laughs and silly antics along the way.
It's apparent when watching Super Troopers 2 that every bit of it was crafted with care and consideration for Super Troopers fans. When speaking with the Broken Lizard guys in an interview (which you can read here), they mentioned that they wrote a staggering 35 drafts and crafted thousands of jokes, only keeping the ones they felt were best in the finished film, and their effort really pays off. Despite having a handful of groaners, the jokes and gags here really land, some of which hit with killer accuracy, and while the first film's hilarity can be reduced to a handful of great scenes, the jokes in Super Troopers 2 are more evenly spread and deliver a quality chuckle or haymaker laugh ever couple of minutes.
It's a Broken Lizard film, so we're not dealing with a lot of heady high-brow humor, but Super Troopers 2 is without a doubt a smarter film than anything they're put out previously. This mostly shines through their solid critique of the typical American ideology, which embodies the current political climate with accidental precision. The film also smartly bends and twists aspects of the first film, but by far its biggest weakness is that it retreads a lot of the same terrain, which involves another twisty drug smuggling plot line.
But story isn't the reason we go to see a Super Troopers film, is it? Nope, it's more about the absurdity, the laughs, and the gags, and there's enough of that to keep the blood pumping through an otherwise dead narrative.
One of the more refreshing aspects are the Canadian Mounties (played by Tyler Labine, Will Sasso and Hayes MacArthur) and how they ironically mirror the troopers, something that plays out in increasingly amusing ways. However, the troopers' relationship with the Mounties strikes a resemblance to their rivalry with the Spurbury Police Department in the first film, which ties back into the film's core weakness. The Mounties aren't just fodder for comedic rivalry though; they're at their best in a hilarious solo scene, which just may become as iconic and memorable as the original film's opening.
Outside of the Mounties, this film is all about Farva, who is dialed to 11 and absolutely dominates the film, but the amazing Brian Cox (as Captain John O'Hagen) gets to flex his thespian artistry in a hilarious karaoke scene that will live in the Super Troopers hall of fame. Scene after scene, Farva eats up the screen and delivers quality one-liners, such as, "You don't look at the mantle when you're poking the fire", which he delivers with brazen confidence after blatantly checking out Emmanuelle Chriqui's bust.
There's really not much else to say, other than it was a pleasure seeing Broken Lizard back on screen. The film is far from perfect, but you can see that they've improved their craft, and even after all these years, they still have a knack for delivering juvenile gags that will have you trembling with laughter.
In the looming status of the original, Super Troopers 2 does its best to stand tall, but might not have the stamina to eclipse its predecessor. The film opens this Friday, April 20th, and it is definitely best enjoyed in a crowded theater amidst Broken Lizard fanatics. Bring your friends, and pound a few cold ones for maximum effect.
Rating: 3.0 mustache rides outta 5.
What do you think? Are you stoked about the film? We want to know. Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below, and as always, remember to viddy well!