Watching a movie by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard is watching a neighbor's party from an outside window. The people inside seem to be enjoying themselves, but they haven't bothered to invite you.
The quintet have been able to stick together for an astonishingly long time. The first Super Troopers movie came out in 2001, but much of their frat boy-centered content is forgettable and disposable. They also have an annoying habit of beating gags to death long after they've ceased to be amusing. Shoehorning "meow" into every sentence isn't that funny the second time around.
Super Troopers 2
73 Cast: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Lowe, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lynda Carter
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Rating: R, for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug material and some graphic nudity
Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes
The second installment, Super Troopers 2, is about as inspired as its title. The weed-huffing, prank-loving Vermont highway patrol officers have managed to bungle once too often and are now working odd jobs that look pretty dull. It's certainly tedious watching them go through their motions.
It might have been amusing or poignant to see them lose their once happy, if inebriated, existences if they had some distinctive personalities. With the exception of Kevin Heffernan's smugly obnoxious Rodney Farva and Jay Chandrasekhar's chemically addled Arcot "Thorny" Ramathorn, none of the troupe members leave much of an impression. They're capable actors with limited ranges, and their own lazy script doesn't do them any favors. All look older, but none of the characters has matured into more interesting people.
Super Troopers 2 starts out with a dream sequence that's meaner than it is funny. I felt sorry for Sean William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr., whose cameos were squandered on such lackluster material.
The film switches from gags involving cannabis to black market pharmaceuticals when the middle-aged boys find themselves back on the job after a section of Quebec turns out to rightfully belong to Vermont. The governor (Lynda Carter) wants them to patrol the area until the annexation is complete.
The town's mayor (Rob Lowe, sporting a cartoonish Canuck drawl) welcomes the Troopers with open arms, but the local Mounties aren't happy about the interlopers. The Troopers and the Mounties expectedly start a series of violent pranks against one another, and the new cops discover a massive smuggling operation that includes pills that aren't legal in the states. Naturally the Troopers feel obligated to try them.
The Broken Lizard members haven't bothered to learn much about other illicit chemicals, so the new jokes make one long for the authority they brought to gags involving weed. There are only so many tropes one can build around men taking female hormone supplements, and they aren't that funny in the first place. After a phony ad for "Flova Scotia" gets repeated for the third time, the joke has been dead and buried.
Featuring more talented actors such as Jim Gaffigan and Brian Cox (who both appeared in the first movie) only accentuates the shortcomings of Broken Lizard. When trained Shakespearean Cox delivers a punchline, the laughs are always louder. Furthermore, Gaffigan has better things to do than rehash gags that are inferior to his standup act or his work in better movies.
Broken Lizard can thank an Indiegogo campaign for letting them make another film. It's too bad their investors have demanded so little from them.
MovieStyle on 04/20/2018
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