One of the oldest proverbs of the entertainment industry is, “Leave them wanting more.” That’s what the boys at Broken Lizard did with their cult hit, Super Troopers some 17 years ago. After an unprecedented crowdsourced funding effort, we now have the long awaited sequel.
Let’s just get this out of the way. As a piece of art, this movie doesn’t even register. Many of the jokes are rehashes of past bits, and coming from men in their late 40s, a lot of them are the types of jokes that men half their age are now too cautious or ashamed to tell. There’s more of a plot than the last film, but that’s not really saying much, with twists and turns so predictable there might as well be road signs smacking you in the face to clue you in.
All that said, I laughed my ass off through the whole thing.
Maybe it’s nostalgia for bygone days of toilet and stoner humor. Maybe it’s that I’m deep down just an overgrown man-child. Maybe a decade of watching How I Met Your Mother made me extra susceptible to bad Canada jokes. Whatever it is, I don’t care. I kept laughing.
Since we last saw our “heroes” for lack of better term, they had become local cops after thwarting the drug ring in the last movie. Well, since that point, they’ve become civilians, losing their badges entirely after what is teased as “The Fred Savage Incident” (it gets paid off during the credits). Now working in construction and taking weekend fishing trips with Captain O’Hagen (Brian Cox), the lads fantasize about the good old days, or in the case of Mac (Steve Lemme), about Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans, Jr. being Vermont Highway Patrol Men that he almost makes kiss while they’re in a rocking band called Crackin’ Bacon.
Anyway, the crew gets a shot at redemption when it turns out that a part of Quebec is actually considered U.S. territory, so they get to suit up and handle the transition of a small French Canadian town to the United States. In the course of this, they do their best to make nice with Mayor Guy Le Franc (Rob Lowe, clearly owing someone a favor), butt heads with a trio of Mounties led by Will Sasso, and Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) gets the hots for a cultural attaché played by Emmanuelle Chriqui.
Just like the last film, there’s a serious drug smuggling operation going on, and between rivalries, in-house shenanigans, and a live bear in the station house, the troopers get up to their neck in it really quick. There isn’t too much drug use this time around, save for a sampling of the unmarked contraband to figure out what they’re dealing with. This leads to Thorny (director Jay Chandrasekhar) becoming addicted to “Flova Scotia,” a female hormone with side effects including lactating, bitchiness, and queefing. This well will never run dry, folks.
Everybody’s pretty much the same as the previous iteration, though some of the antics are cranked up to 11, particularly when Farva (Kevin Heffernan) bets Rabbit his pinky toe that he can bed Chriqui faster. If anyone’s low-key, it’s Foster (Paul Soter). He’s still dating Ursula Hanson (Marisa Coughlin, essentially a callback cameo), and he participates in the pranks, but never really spearheads anything.
And some of the pranks are pretty spectacular on both sides of the manufactured conflict. We get a redo of the “Meow” stop, with Jim Gaffigan reprising his appearance from the last movie. Will Sasso tortures one of his fellow Mounties by pretending not to know who Danny DeVito is, and of course, playing up French accents allows for a traffic stop bit referenced in the title of this review.
So yeah, the jokes are just as juvenile as ever, and the film aspires to basically nothing, but honestly, who cares? This movie is a return on an investment from dedicated fans, and they got exactly what they paid for, with the added bonus of it premiering on 4/20. I’ve loved Broken Lizard’s work for years, and no matter how PC the world gets, I’ll still laugh. I won’t even need drugs.
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