I mean, you guys know this one is R. I don't have to write this whole long thing explaining how the Super Troopers movies are extremely R-Rated. They are infamous for language, nudity, sexual content, violence, and all kinds of other shannanigans. (You see what I did there?) Yeah, this movie appeals to the basest of instincts and loves that it is shameless to the extreme. Don't watch this with your kids. Heck, you might not want to watch it yourself. Hard R.
DIRECTOR: Jay Chandrasekar
My buddy, Roy, first turned me onto the first Super Troopers movie. At the time, Roy was obsessed with becoming a police officer, so he was a big fan of cop humor. I went into it, rolling my eyes, and left thinking it was pretty funny. It didn't blow my mind with that first watch, but this is the time in my life when I didn't try new films every time I got the chance. I loved rewatching the same movies over-and-over again. For a movie like Super Troopers, that's probably a good thing. It is one of those comedies that oddly gets better with multiple viewings. I watched everything that Broken Lizard made and I kind of became a fan. But then I also grew up. I started becoming the film snob I am today and I kind of forgot about it. Then the whole Kickstarter thing happened. I couldn't believe that they were going to make another one. My Facebook feed lit up with people who were excited that this movie was going to happen.
But then...no one really saw it.
At least I don't think that they did. There was a lot of talk about how this movie was going to be epic and how people were going to see it opening day. But then opening day came around and I literally never heard about anyone going to see it. I'm not saying that there were bad reviews. Bad reviews can, at least, make sense. This was a review blackout. No one praised it. No one tanked it. It just kind of came and went. That may be a commentary on nerdom as a whole. There's a lot of hype and then we can get tepid for the execution. I, also, didn't see it in the theater. It wasn't for a lack of trying. I can't say that I'm a Broken Lizard superfan or anything anymore, but I wanted to see the movie in the theater. But I had a very pregnant wife at the time and it seemed more than a little irresponsible to go leave her at home to see this movie. (I saved that moral quandry for Infinity War.) I will have to say that Super Troopers 2 is a good time. I won't go too over-the-top with my praise for the movie. Like the first movie, it is intentionally very base and dumb. I think that people started labelling "good comedies" as "smart comedies." I probably have to disagree with that. There's a lot of stupidity in this movie, but that's what the movie holds in currency. It is a movie devoted to stupidity done well and I think I really like that. Mind you, I feel like a college student laughing at drug humor, but it is so broad that it doesn't take much imagination for a straight-edge teacher to understand the jokes.
I really have to applaud this movie for one major idea that maybe a lot of people overlooked. When it comes to sequelizing comedies, it rarely works. I think Austin Powers is the only contemporary comedy (and that movie is pretty old) to get some of the sequels right. But even Austin Powers commits the sin that Super Troopers 2 tends to avoid. Austin Powers desperately relies on the nostalgia factor. It hits a lot of the same beats that the first movie did. It worked in that case because it doubled down on a lot of the jokes that the first movie presented. Super Troopers 2, while occasionally referential to the first film, really presents a lot of new jokes. The characters are still their root characters. The first movie didn't really educate the characters about changing their world views, so it makes sense that the characters are fundamentally the same. But there are only a handful of references to the jokes in the first movie. I honestly thought that Super Troopers 2 would be an hour and a half (already a big perk towards seeing a movie!) of people looking at the camera and acknowledging the jokes from the first movie. I know that someone is going to get all mad about my take on that because there are callbacks from the first film. Some of them are even in the trailer. It even becomes absolutely meta when Jim Gaffigan returns in the same role that he had in the first movie. But most of the movie is composed of new, well-polished bits. (No pun intended.) I actually had no idea that a movie could derive so much water from one stone.
But it doesn't mean that the movie is absolutely perfect. I can imagine the arguments that may have come from the writing of this film. The beginning of the movie SPOILER ALERT is a giant dream sequence. I'm sure that there was discussion about whether filming an extreme opening as a dream sequence was a cop out (pun intended). What is the line? The point of Super Troopers 2 is to be as funny as they can as often as they can. I mean, that makes sense. Look at the tone of the movie. The opening sequence provides a lot of jokes. These jokes are cheap, but they are ultimately effective. To complain about them is almost spitting in the wind. If the dream sequence was removed from the film, I wouldn't have those jokes. The point of the movie is to give me jokes. Thus, removing the cheap dream sequence from the film would deny me the jokes I'm watching this movie for. I also have to wonder if the cultural impact (small quotes probably needed) of Farva has affected how much Farva is in this movie. While I probably have the first Super Troopers memorized at this point, it has been a while since I've watched it to see how much Farva is in the first movie. He's in Super Troopers 2 a lot. Also, he might be more intense than he was in the first one. There's an odd confidence to him that may not have been in the first movie. Okay, he was remarkably confident in the first movie, but he was also desperate to be accepted as one of the team in the first film. This one strips what little doubt that the character may have had and has him cranked up to a thousand. I think it would be a bigger problem than it is if the jokes didn't work, but they mostly do.
Hey, this might be a fun game. I like that Super Troopers 2 avoids some stereotypes while leaning hard into others. I guess that's not accurate. The movie starts off with the American assumption that all Canadians are remarkably polite. There's a fantastic cameo by Bruce McCulloch establishing that idea. But then the idea gets turned on its head. The Canadians are almost trying to out-obnoxious the Americans. The film acknowledges that Quebec's reputation is different from the rest of the country's, but there's something to look at here. I like the idea of the Canadian being turned on its head. You have this fun dynamic. The protagonists, by definition, are boorish morons. But the contrast in the first movie is that the boorish morons existed in a society where everyone else lived by society's rules. (Okay, not everyone else. Certainly, some snozzberries taste like snozzberries.) But placing them in this extreme version of Canada, mayored by an insane Rob Lowe, makes them seem like the ones grasping onto sanity. I love the contrast, especially, of the Mounted Police. Golly, these characters are over-the-top. But this movie allows for that kind of stuff. I love the portrayal of the Mounties. I don't know why I find "French-Canadian" inherently funny. I guess that might be a latent racism or something, but the jokes work so well. Yeah, the jokes get dirty. Apparently, brothels are legal in Quebec. The Broken Lizard guys feel so inclined to show that and make it as uncomfortable as possible. But that kind of has the Family Guy effect where it is so in-your-face that you have to kind of laugh. There's just a lot of good elements here.
It's a bit hard to honestly review Super Troopers 2. I'm spending most of the time explaining why dumb raunchy comedy can be funny sometimes and why it isn't funny other times. Honestly, this movie isn't for everyone. I'm not even talking about if people are offended. I'm just talking about comedy is extremely subjective and Super Troopers 2 is for a specific demographic of people. I enjoyed it. I won't write home about it. (Although I kind of just did.) But this is not a recommendation movie. I'm sorry. I felt weird even watching it with my wife. Raunchy comedy is more miss than hit, but this one mostly hits. That's about as far as I can go. Give it a shot if you liked the first one.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.