The comedy troupe Broken Lizard created the cult comedy Super Troopers with its goofy take on a group of Vermont Highway Patrol officers struggling to save their jobs from being taken over by local police. Making a sequel to their greatest success turned out to be more difficult than they initially thought. The studio was reluctant to finance a sequel so the team of Broken Lizard took to Indiegogo to fund their long awaited sequel, Super Troopers 2. Meow the film is finally being released, and the final product shows why Fox Searchlight had little interest in funding the film. Super Troopers 2 is made for the die-hard fans of the first film and that’s it. It’s a comedy that has a few moments that work but is dominated by lazy, sophomoric jokes about Canada – and there are a ton of these hackneyed gags about our neighbors to the north.
In the intervening years since the first film, the troupe of troopers have been fired, taking jobs in construction and working under their loathed, obnoxious cohort Farva (Kevin Heffernan). When their old boss Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) calls them on a fishing trip north of the border in Canada, Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Foster (Paul Soter), Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), and, yes, Farva meet their former boss only to learn that America has undergone a “border reassessment” and a section of Canada has been discovered to actually be a part of the United States, and these former troopers are to be rehired and oversee the transition between the two nations.
In Canada, these reinstated troopers find themselves unpopular with the Canadian residents that don’t want to be a part of America. But the mayor, Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe), tries to ease the transition despite the protests by a trio of Mounties (played by Hayes MacArthur, Will Sasso, and Tyler Labine). When the American officers find a stash of various contraband, counterfeit pills and guns among other illicit items, they’re called to duty to discover who is leading this underground smuggling ring.
Directed again by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by Broken Lizard, Super Troopers 2 is made almost exclusively for the fans of the first film. There are numerous references to the first film that will tickle the fancy of fans. For those who don’t love the first film or just found it to be a moderately entertaining if not forgettable comedy, there’s not much to captivate in Super Troopers 2. A handful of the banter is able to garner a laugh here and there, but few of the film’s elaborate gags work and some are just so unimaginative that they become excruciating as they’re drawn out beyond the point of a slight chuckle. Thorny begins taking a counterfeit female hormone and the entire extent of the gag is that he becomes simultaneously emotional and a bad driver; it’s a gag that’s both sexist and unoriginal.
The jokes in the movie are almost exclusively lazy jokes about Canadians. “Eh” and “aboot” are tossed around in place of actual jokes, as are references to the Canadians love of pancakes and hockey. Broken Lizard also conflates all of Canada with French Canadians, meaning that every Canadian character in Super Troopers 2 weaves between a grotesquely cartoonish French and Canadian accent, often alternating accents in a single scene. If Super Troopers 2 were lampooning any other culture than our neighbors to the north, it’d be among the most offensive movies of the year. It’s still fairly offensive only because it’s so lazy and lacking in wit and imagination. Even at just 90 minutes, the crude and simple Canadian jokes become irksome as they’re just repeated ad nauseam.
What else stands out about this comedy sequel is just how poorly defined these characters are, especially when they’re robbed of the subplots that provided them with a little depth in the first film. Only Farva is a character with a distinct personality, albeit a grating one. Aside from Farva and Captain O’Hagan, they’re just a roster of interchangeable goofballs with badges.
Sitting through Super Troopers 2, I was nostalgic for the days when you could blame studio executives for backing lazy, unnecessary sequels. The Canadian humor of the film had me longing for the Canadian jokes in Kevin Smith’s Tusk and Yoga Hosers, which seem subtle and intellectual in comparison. Super Troopers 2 isn’t a simple rehash of the first film simply because the first film had a bit more with and depth, though not much.