“Super Troopers” is another in a recent group of Hollywood comedies that rely on lowbrow humor to carry the day. Fortunately, the cast of “Troopers” is up to the task, and the movie is more funny than not. Which, in the world of “Just Married” and “National Security”, is really all you can hope for.
Jay Chandrasekhar, who also co-wrote and co-stars, directs “Super Troopers”, about Highway Patrolmen in Vermont whose greatest nemesis aren’t criminals, but the local police force led by Chief Grady (Daniel von Bargen). Of the troopers, there’s the leader Thorny (Chandrasekhar), the rookie Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), the bumbling troublemaker Farva (Kevin Heffernan), the slightly insane Mac (Steve Lemme), and Foster (Paul Soter), who has a crush on a local female cop played by the winning Marisa Coughlan. Brian Cox plays the troopers’ exasperated boss.
At its core, “Super Troopers” is a series of skits involving the troopers as they play tricks on speeders, drug dealers, local cops, and each other. To tie everything together so the proceedings will resemble a “movie”, there’s a plot about drug dealers rolling through town and the troopers trying to save their jobs from state budget cuts. Lynda Carter, formerly fighting crime as Wonder Woman, has an extended cameo as the state Governor, who the troopers need to impress so she won’t shut them down.
The jokes, written by the 5 male stars (all of whom goes by the single credit “Broken Lizard”), don’t always work. One such gag that doesn’t go anywhere is the whole “torturing the rookie” jokes, which mostly fall flat. What does work are gags that the troopers pull on unsuspecting speeders they stop along the highway. The film’s funniest moments involve Heffernan’s Farva, including a scene when Farva attacks a kid working at a fast food joint because the kid doesn’t know what a “liter of coke” is and probably spat in his burger.
“Super Troopers” has no idea about how to be serious. Its portrayal of cop life is silly and unrealistic, but that’s not surprising since the whole movie is one big joke. The things these guys do wouldn’t just get them fired, it would get them thrown in jail! At one point, trooper Thorny invites two speeding car thieves to have swinger sex with him and his live-in hippie girlfriend. The whole drug storyline, for what it’s worth, is nothing but time filler. Uninteresting and dreadfully dull time filler at that.
“Super Troopers” offers up plenty of laughs for those looking for some easy chuckles. Its lack of seriousness is a plus, and director/co-star Jay Chandrasekhar seems just as bored with the main storyline as we are. Fortunately there are some funny skits strewn throughout the 90-plus running length to keep one busy in-between the attempt at a “movie”.
Jay Chandrasekhar (director) / Broken Lizard (screenplay)
CAST: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan), Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske