I love Super Troopers. It was maybe my favorite movie for a couple of years in high school. I stuck with the Broken Lizard guys after that, going back to Puddle Cruiser and generally liking Club Dread and Beerfest. That is why it hurts so much that I didn’t really enjoy this late coming sequel much at all. It’s not all bad, but there really isn’t much there to recommend about it.
I hate to call a movie unnecessary, because when it comes down to it, what movie is really necessary, but that is the charge I’d level at Super Troopers 2. It is basically running back everything from the first movie. The only really new thing added on are the Canadian jokes, but I’d hesitate to call any of that material “new.” If I wasn’t fairly certain that their hearts were in it, I’d say this movie was made out of some sort of obligation. It is just more of a thing we already had.
All of the characters are back and mostly as you remember them; the goofy Foster, the sardonic Mac, the intolerable Farva. Each has their place and each fills their niche fairly well, except everything is pushed just a little too far. Farva used to be an asshole who didn’t know how to tell a joke, now he is completely awful. He is just more. That is true of some of the other characters, like the Captain. They haven’t really changed, they are just more. The balance is not quite right.
The little new that this movie brings to the table doesn’t really work. The crew, fired from the jobs for what is cryptically called “the Fred Savage incident,” the gang all gets a job working around a town that was recently discovered to be part of the USA instead of Canada, replacing the squad of Mounties that previously worked the area. There are jokes about hockey and Canadian accents while the movie mostly replays the plot of the first movie. It feels overly familiar.
The movie does work when they are getting into some newish hijinks, like when Mac and Foster rig up the radio to shock Farva everytime he talks into it, or the bit where a pair of the cops pretend to speak French to some Americans. But more of it, like most of the unnecessary callbacks and Thorny’s fascination with a female viagra, just don’t really work. It sits there inert.
Despite my complaints, there is still something that makes me want to like the movie. Just something about its genial silliness that makes it hard to hate, even when the jokes aren’t really landing. If someone told me they loved this movie, I would shrug and accept it. When it comes down to it, my biggest problem with it is that its best bits are merely echoes of the first movie. If hadn’t seen that one so much, then this one might not feel so unnecessary. And I hope its success lets Broken Lizard do something new and interesting.