Super Troopers is a stupid movie. With that said, it is also one of the funniest rides you’ll take this year. Although the trailers suggest a juvenile comedy involving doped-out teens and prankster fast-food employees, the sophomore – and sophomoric – effort from the comedy troupe Broken Lizard is actually a rip-roaring spoof on highway patrolmen.
Not since Police Academy have cops in movies behaved this badly (well, maybe in Bad Lieutenant). Except in the end of Police Academy, the heroes wanted justice and to do the right thing. Here, these guys are more concerned with messing with traffic violators than actually punishing them.
When they are not enticing a high-speed chase by hot-rodding in an impounded sports car, the five jokers are finding new ways to start a fight with the local police department.
The plot is as thin as Swiss cheese and sometimes resembles it, but the execution of the gags makes up for the otherwise pointless humor. No underlying social messages are present about patrolmen and their undying need to rebel against the constraints put on them because of the uniform – they’d just rather fish than catch speeders.
The film takes the Animal House recipe and adds a post-Sept. 11 flavor to it. Although the film was made months before that tragic day, references are made about a cheaply animated TV show from Afghanistan and the evil ruling Taliban government.
Just as in the National Lampoon classic of all slacker comedies, the troopers face the threat of being shut down. They must now shape up their act when an unrealistically large drug bust leads to a possible murder investigation. This allows for an even further rivalry with the local cops that accounts for most of the big laughs in a film with its already fair share of spot-on humor.
Scenes including new ways to screw with pulled-over drivers, as well as a subplot involving one of the trooper’s infatuation with a rival female cop, round out a film as complete as a stupid comedy can get.
The troupe’s first film, Puddle Cruiser, failed to get released in 1996. However, they had more success here as Troopers was the first film bought at last year’s Sundance Film Festival (even before In the Bedroom).
Directed by troupe member Jay Chandrasekhar, Troopers does eventually run out of steam. While the jokes run strong throughout despite a shallow script, the movie’s final scene utilizes that “three months later” device that some films use when they don’t know when to end.
All in all, Super Troopers is lewd, offensive and stupid – not to mention funny as hell.
- Contact William Albritton at firstname.lastname@example.org