Super Troopers (2002)
Super Troopers (2002)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.

Release Date: February 15th, 2002 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar Actors: Paul Soter, Marisa Coughlan, Erik Stolhanske, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, Aria Alpert, Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan

 


 

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horny (Jay Chandrasekhar), the ranking officer of Vermont’s Green Mountain State Highway Patrol, passes the time with rookie Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), pulling pranks and games on unsuspecting speeders and intoxicated teenagers. Verbal tomfoolery, swiping and using confiscated contraband, zipping around cars, and repeating questions and requests are just a small part of their nonsensical abuse of authority. Jurisdictional disputes and constant feuding with the local Spurbury police department (due to mutual boredom) fill the majority of their spare time.

Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) flakily attempts to maintain order, but clearly has no control over his squadron of goofy minions. When a dead woman is discovered in a Winnebago, and a truck is abandoned with 150 kilos of marijuana on board, the Vermont patrolmen want a piece of the action – primarily to avoid budget cuts from shutting down their division. But the departmental altercations with local cops, led by Chief Grady (Daniel Von Bargen), continue to prevent them from partnering on the case – despite the crew taking nothing seriously and probably being too inept to help anyway. When Foster (Paul Soter), a Green Mountain trooper, starts seeing Ursula (Marisa Coughlan), the desk officer at the local station (completing a Romeo and Juliet scenario), for the first time opposing forces reconcile long enough to get to the bottom of a drug smuggling scheme riddled with political corruption.

Like a road movie, the film opens with the white lines of the highway zooming past the camera. From there, things take shape to be a comedy largely reminiscent of the borderline improvisational exploits of “Animal House” or “American Pie.” The problem is that while jokes are rattled off continuously, only a small handful are humorous. It’s a project that could have used a more persuasive and experienced editor to trim the fat and polish the cleverer gimmicks – the climax itself is an unusually bland, drunk drug bust fracas that fails to inspire laughs or thrills. Spoofing the misadventures of hopelessly incompetent lawmen is a concept much better accomplished with the later (unrelated) TV series “Reno 911!”

Perhaps the most amusing element of the film is not the end result itself but rather the circumstance of its creation. It’s the first wide release feature film for the comedy troupe dubbed “Broken Lizard” (a team clearly copying the successes of Monty Python or National Lampoon, consisting of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske), who all appear in the film and help with the screenplay. This independent work would allow nearly all of them to further their careers in the movie industry, not only participating in other Broken Lizard features, but also becoming involved with major television shows and films. Although undeserving of a prequel or sequel, both of which were in the works over the years since its release, “Super Troopers” has become somewhat of a cult comedy with a faithful fan base, despite containing almost no sequences that are laugh-out-loud funny or memorably unique.

– Mike Massie

  • 2/10