Chances are, you know right meow whether you’ll be lining up to see the long-awaited sequel to Broken Lizard’s cult comedy, or whether you’ll be dodging it like a speed camera on the highway.
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Years after their Highway Patrol was disbanded, the former Super Troopers – Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Foster (Paul Soter), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Farva (Kevin Heffernan) – have been fired from their new positions as police officers and now work in a dead-end construction job. That is, until they are called upon by their old team captain, O’Hagen (Brian Cox) to investigate an international border dispute between the US and Canada and set up a new highway patrol station in the contended region. Their shot to re-establish themselves as state troopers faces the challenges of a rival Canadian patrol squad, a disorderly mayor (Rob Lowe), a French-Canadian love interest (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and of course a drug-smuggling conspiracy.
The films of comedy troupe Broken Lizard (Club Dread, Beerfest) have always felt like they’ve belonged in a niche. They’re low-brow, crude, not particularly intelligent and filled with humour that misses more often than it hits. It’s surprising then, to see the sequel to their best-known film Super Troopers receive a wide cinematic release instead of going directly to DVD, especially given the seventeen-year gap between the two and the fact that the team have been relatively off-the-radar for the past decade or so. It’s even more surprising that Super Troopers 2 is a largely enjoyable time, and probably the best of their filmography – not that it’s a difficult feat.
What’s unusual about ST2 hitting theatres in 2018 is that it feels like a product of a different era, one Hollywood was all about in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Unconcerned with identity politics or fulfilling a diversity quota and unafraid to be offensive, ST2 is a refreshing call-back to when anything goes, even if this does mean a hefty helping of immaturity and toilet humour. Fortunately too, the hits outweigh the misses this time around, and the team effectively keep the pace lightning-fast and the gag ratio high so that any duds are quickly wiped from memory.
That these guys keep such a consistent high energy going is particularly impressive given that most of the dudes are now it their late-forties and early-fifties; they barely seem to have aged a day in nearly twenty years, even appearance-wise. Even the great Brian Cox, better known for his awards-worthy dramatic roles, is more than game to keep up with the boys, clearly having a blast as he swears a blue streak and dives behind desks from a bear set loose in the station.
Crowdfunding is apparently the only way to get films like this made these days, but Super Troopers 2 stands as a glistening example of giving an audience willing to pay to see something exactly what they want. Easy to nit-pick from a critical standpoint – there’s very little plot to cover and frankly, pretty damned stupid – it asks nothing but to check your brain at the door and revel in the improvised sketches. Anything that features Rob Lowe snorting cocaine and jiggling a stripper’s penis in a bordello is hard to go wrong with.
Super Troopers 2 is available in Australian cinemas from April 19
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox