April 20, 2018

Super Troopers 2

Blamed Canada

Grade: C –
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cox, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Rob Lowe
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.

Exuding the freshness of a vaudeville revue, Super Trooper 2 arrives 17 years after its predecessor yet still stuck in the early aughts. If a revival of the anarchic Broken Lizard sketch comedy troupe isn’t archaic enough for you, there’s Rob Lowe, Lynda Carter, and cameos by Seann William Scott and a Wayans brother to drive home the point.

Defrocked Vermont highway patrolmen Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Jeff (Paul Soter), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Rod (Kevin Heffernan) are called back into action by their old captain, John O’Hagan (Brian Cox), to patrol a notch of Canada that’s due to be annexed into the United States as a new northern tip of Vermont (nevermind why or how—something to do with old stone markers). The vast bulk of the would-be laughs revolve around tired tropes about Canada. They like pancakes and hockey! They listen to Rush and Barenaked Ladies! Their long Os sound funny, and some of them even speak French!

The weird thing is, this tired setup yields the most intermittent chuckles, mainly compliments of Brian Cox yellings curse words and Rod’s gonzo non sequiturs—a bit involving him eating M&M’s whole is laugh-out-loud funny. Lowe also leans into a funhouse Canadian stereotype who manages who be both exceedingly polite and obnoxious.

The dumb fun becomes just dumb the longer the one-trick plot grinds on, eventually settling on rehashed jokes and recycled storylines from the original film. The raunchy VHiPs predictably feud with their new canuck constituents, including a trio of local Mounties. There’s a smuggling subplot involving contraband weapons and knock-off prescription drugs.There’s a sexpot (Emmanuelle Chriqui) who may or may not be a double agent. There’s a segment involving the group pulling over motorists just to annoy them. And, of course, there are the inevitable stoner gags—a few work thanks to their brevity, while a running bit about Thorny being addicted to offbrand female sexual enhancement pills grows tiresome long before his nipples start lactating.

The now middle-aged Broken Lizard returns amid a world in which the device of comically dysfunctional police has evolved over the ensuing decade, from Brooklyn Nine-Nine to the 21 Jump Street reprise. Super Troopers had its day, and this new crowdfunded follow-up doesn’t feel edgy or nostalgic. It’s abōut time to turn in the badges, eh?

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