The only thought that I could constantly conjure up while watching “Super Troopers 2” was the simple question of “why?” Not out of anger, disgust, or irritation but merely befuddlement.
Assuming that the original “Super Troopers” was some sort of massive success, which it wasn’t, and had some sort of overwhelming demand by audiences for continuation, of which there appears to be very little, this is a sequel removed from the official release date of its predecessor by nearly two decades. That’s a substantial disconnect for the continuation of a film about the hijinks Vermont state troopers patrolling the American-Canadian border that probably would have been better suited to independent web video skits had it come out today, but I digress.
Comedy Troupe Broken Lizard unites to bring back the titular troopers as authority over a town at the border being annexed by the American government after a misunderstanding in mapping the territory, thus bringing them into conflict with the Canadian locals and Mounties who don’t take kindly to falling under the jurisdiction of a post 2016 America.
What “Super Troopers 2” lacks in any form of positive expectations is slightly exacerbated by how overly topical the film makes itself in relation to perceptions of the USA and immigration politics. Once in a while something amusing about these themes will land in a chuckle worthy manner only to get drowned out by same repetitive jabs at the cesspool of modern politics and Canadian stereotypes. Even the best of Broken Lizard’s work was never particularly high brow but some of the fallbacks on this one can become almost uncomfortably lazy in the ways so many jokes awkwardly misfire.
It’s a bit of a shame that more cleverness wasn’t put into the movie’s presentation regarding visual aesthetics, editing technique, or even the core plot, because what does hold “Super Troopers 2” back from being an outright bad film is that it does have a substantial amount of humor that actually lands.
The cast brings their earnest A-game to the table and, despite plenty of room for improvisation, a lot of the best gags land in deliveries that feel organic and successfully maintain the appropriate level of energy until the next successful gag. This fortunate level of pleasant momentum goes a long way towards salvaging a sequel marred by a cynical outlook of its own branding.
Although the jokes never quite reach laugh out loud levels, they stay consistently worthy of solid chuckles and keep a decent enough pace for the cast’s rather effective chemistry to carry over and keep the rest of the film afloat. If you were ultimately awaiting a sequel to “Super Troopers” with bated breath, I don’t know if I can say you’ll be disappointed in what is essentially a second helping of more of the same. The comedic chops of its crew definitely make it a the best follow up to a dated 17-year-old indie movie that it could possibly be.
If you haven’t thought of “Super Troopers” in over a decade like almost everybody else, you’re probably wondering why this thing got theatrical distribution, even if the underwhelming product to come from it is fairly inoffensive and harmless.
3 out of 5
Graduating from Texas A&M University—Commerce with a bachelor's degree in News and Editorial Journalism, Jordan Wright has lived most of his adult life professionally critiquing films, from major blockbusters to indie dramas, and has no intentions of stopping.