Sunday, 20 May 2018

Movie Review – Super Troopers 2

Movie Review – Super Troopers 2
09 May

In 2001, Broken Lizard submitted an outstanding entry into the stoner comedy subgenre with Super Troopers. Of course, the movie itself wasn’t outstanding; it was a middling, forgettable flick with a handful of decent gags and not much else. But as a stoner comedy, a genre built around infantile humour, short attention spans, and repetition, it was a monument. It became a popular movie in dorm rooms around the country as twentysomethings with…altered states of mind watched the ribald comedy about zany highway patrolmen on a constant loop. Comedy “troupes” aped the film’s dialogue while aspiring filmmakers recreated its iconic scenes. It was the typical cult classic.


article continues below

Now, 17 years later, all of those stoners are inching closer to 40 and, like everyone else these days, they’re feeling nostalgic. They wanted more Super Troopers. And Broken Lizard (after a string of disappointing follow-up films) was more than happy to oblige them. They set up a crowdfunding campaign that easily reached its goal.


So here we are. Broken Lizard is back on the big screen with their “beloved” characters in Super Troopers 2. It’s appropriate the group popularized the stoner comedy genre in the early 2000s, since their abysmal sequel serves as a prime example as to why the genre is held in such low regard. Broken Lizard brought the stoner comedy into this world and now they’ve killed it. The circle is complete.


Super Troopers 2 is so bad, so mind-numbingly terrible, it retroactively tarnishes the already-mediocre original. How could the same cast behind a mildly amusing comedy produce something as comically-barren as this abomination? Perhaps the original was never good and it’s only remembered fondly through the thick haze of nostalgia and ganja smoke. Super Troopers 2 is not only a bad film in its own right; it actively tramples on your memories.


Joke after joke lands with a dull thud. The dialogue is peppered with bizarre, unfunny turns of phrase that clearly delight the cast, but baffle the audience. It’s like being stuck in a miserable improv group performance that’s comprised of nothing but inside jokes. Broken Lizard clearly seem bemused that they’re back on the big screen, so they aimlessly shuffle through painful gag after miserable joke until the movie reaches feature length.


The plot is a complete joke and, like every other joke in this torture-disguised-as-a-movie, it never produces a laugh. The “lovable” characters from the first movie spend their days bothering each other and acting like frat boys, even as they all push 50 (something that might have been funny if the film had drawn attention to it; instead it’s just faintly sad). For no reason, they’re recruited to the highway patrol squad in a Quebec town that, due to a mapping mistake, is about to join the United States. The gaggle of morons competes with a cadre of French-Canadian cops who are as stupid and unfunny as them. They also uncover a drug smuggling ring, which is the exact same plot as the first movie. The word “lazy” comes to mind often during Super Troopers 2.


Super Troopers 2 is simply unfunny. Your mileage may vary, of course, but as a comedy, the film falls painfully short. The camerawork never once tries to highlight or add to a gag. It just sits there like an unmotivated stoner. Line after line is built around tired clichés about drugs, scatological humour, and male genitalia. Broken Lizard dusted off their “Big Book of Stoner Jokes” for this movie and they made sure no gag went unused.


If there’s one saving grace, no matter how dim, it’s Brian Cox. The veteran actor is best known for his dramatic depth and hammy performances. In Super Troopers 2, he’s just as committed to his role as any other movie. He brings an angry, shouty performance to the movie, injecting all of his scenes with energy. It’s one-note and not terribly funny (mostly due to the bad writing), but at least he’s got a pulse. The rest of the cast (even Rob Lowe) is so low-energy they seem comatose.


In Super Troopers 2, no one shuts up. They prattle on and on, spouting out an avalanche of insults and non-jokes. They rarely evoke laughter, but they keep going, like a failing stand-up comic holding his audience hostage. This kind of verbal barrage would seem extreme in Guantanamo Bay.


Super Troopers 2 never should have left the reefer-inspired minds of Broken Lizard. It’s an abhorrent mess with nothing to offer but a 100-minute time sinkhole. Save your high for something funny.

« »


Related Articles