Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Farva (Kevin Heffernan), Mac (Steve Lemme), Foster (Paul Soter) and Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) are Vermont Super Troopers, highway patrol officers who thrive on pranks, drinking maple syrup (bottle at a time) and delight in making fun of the local cops. They were trained by Captain O'Hagan (Brian Cox), who equally is keen to make fun of all the cops, led by Chief Grady (Daniel Von Bargen), except for Officer Ursula Hanson (Marisa Coughlan), who is blonde and pretty. But these are harsh economic times, and the town cannot support both police forces. Can the super troopers save their jobs by impressing Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) in solving the mystery of a dead body with a tattoo and an illegal supply of weed?
Review by Louise Keller:
A great idea but short on laughs, Super Troopers is a nonsensical spoof on cops and officers of highway patrol. Crazy is good and I love wacky off the wall humour, but the ideas run thin, and what could have been a roller coaster of belly laughs, becomes a journey of too few funny moments. That's not to say it isn't funny, because I certainly laughed, but it feels as though Broken Lizard (what a great name) is trying too hard. It worries me somewhat that Kevin Heffernan is quoted as saying says that the aim was 'to do one joke every six seconds'. Sounds a little over-planned to me – but hey, maybe comedy can be structured that way. There's plenty of slapstick, sight gags and one liners. Some of the funniest moments occur when the road patrol officers approach motorists who have to pull over kerbside, and start meowing and playing other outlandish, ridiculous games. They're rookies out of control, eager to get their quota of speeding motorists and prepared to go to extreme lengths. They play tricks on each other – like the rookie who entices his colleagues to chase him in a speeding vehicle, wearing a wig, false moustache and cowboy hat. Then there's the incident about the three young blokes they catch smoking weed. I won't spoil that one for you – it is rather funny. There's even one most unlikely scene of one overweight rookie stark naked, covered in shaving foam (don't ask!) The cast does a fine job and the soundtrack is full throttle and lively. It's harmless fun, mindless entertainment, and it probably sounds better than it actually is.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Well, break my lizard and strangle the cat, here’s one of them buffoon genre comedies where crazy Americans do damage and make mayhem for fun. The good ones make it look easy (like Leslie Nielsen’s oeuvre) while the also rans make it look cheesy – and contain boring bits. And Super Troopers is, sadly, in the latter category. If I strung together the bits that I found funny, the movie would be about 15 minutes long. The script has loads of potential (not all of it original, but that’s no drawback) but fails to maximise; the plot - the troopers fearing State budget cuts will swipe them off the highway, and competing with the local police unit – is too straight for a bent comedy. So are many of the gags. The result is a patchy piece, like a car that’s backfiring and jerking, lurching towards its destination. Technicals are fine, but through much of the film, I wished for the inspired comedic genius of a Steve Martin (if Nielsen was busy).
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SUPER TROOPERS (M15+)
CAST: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
PRODUCER: Richard Perello
DIRECTOR: Jay Chandrasekhar
SCRIPT: Broken Lizard (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Joaquin Baca-Asay
EDITOR: Jacob Craycroft, Kevin Heffernan, Jumbulingam
MUSIC: Special .38
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ben Conable
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
March 14, 2002
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment
VIDEO RELEASE: August 28, 2002