Super Troopers 2 begins with an elaborate dream sequence in which Sean William Scott (Stiffler, as they refer to him) and Damon Wayan’s Jr, acting as Vermont state troopers, pull over a tour bus. Inside are the former state troopers, now in a Van Halen style band called Cracklin’ Bacon; a reference that is all but lost on me. What follows is your typical shenanigans and crude humor, ending in a high speed chase that culminates in the death of the entire band after their tour bus careens off a ledge. It’s a sequence that mirrors Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ [‘13] over the top bus sequence, replete with a slow-mo gag that showcases raunchy and whacky paraphanial.
Except the latter comes at least a quarter way into the film, having already reunited fans with its affable and eclectic group of miscreants, while the former uses its sequence to introduce characters we haven’t seen together since 2006’s vastly superior Beerfest. It’s a jarring introduction, and while its laughs feel more like a nightmare in peculiarity, it’s the most inventive the film is before it quickly nose-dives into formulaic nostalgia.
Leaving off where the original ended – if you need a quick recap, the troopers become police officers who wind up busting the party of everyone’s favorite snozzberry licking stoners – Super Troopers 2 finds them dismissed from the force after a ride-along with Fred Savage (played by Fred Savage) goes fatally awry. Months later and the old gang finds themselves working miscellaneous jobs that only an LL Bean catalog would show. Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Farva (Kevin Heffernan) all work as construction workers while Thorny (director Jay Chandrasekhar) is a logger (adorned with a grizzled beard) and Foster, well, he lives with (and off) his Police Chief girlfriend, Ursula (Marisa Coughlan). Their ex-commander, Captain O’Hagen (Brian Cox), with the help of Gov. Jessman (Linda Carter), invites them to take on the task of replacing Canadian mountaineers after a loop-hole is discovered that places a French-Canadian town on US soil.
First off, this review doesn’t matter; my opinions do not matter. Anyone going into this sequel almost two decades in the making is doing so because they love the characters (there is a level of affable comfort in their moronic antics) and they find comical joy in the way Kevin Heffernan chews his gum while ordering a litter cola. My thoughts on the film won’t stop anyone from joining the Vermont troopers on one more adventure, and I really hope it doesn’t, because there is a particular brand of comedy the Broken Lizard squad adheres to, and when it works, it works like gangbusters.
Particularly because their relationship and dynamic work like gangbusters. Brian Cox, known for taking on more serious affairs (X2’s [‘03] Strider and Zodiac’s [‘07] defense attorney Melvin Belli come to mind), loosens up as their fatherly commander, often partaking in their lewd charades after he’s hit the bottle. This time around, there’s a sense of equality amongst the group (even Farva, who is no longer reprimanded to radio opperator), mostly because they find themselves outmatched by the sheer level of Canadian stereotypes that’s poured on thicker than maple syrup.
The joke here is that, while present in spades, the cliché traits of our neighbors to the north are spun around on us. Jingoism, arrogance, beer and even our sorry’s (pronounced sah-rry’s) are lambasted and lampooned to the point where one begins to re-examine what made the Canadian put-downs funny to begin with. It works almost parallel with the comedy troupes endearing effort to revisit what made the first film so infectiously ridiculous.
Unfortunately, its execution is more often less endearing than it wants, and hardly enduring, despite the northern setting creating a sort of parallel universe, right down to a bizarro Farva. Jim Gaffigan reprises his role for another round of “meow”, while we revisit the quotably dead “bear fucker” with a bear that aptly fucks with them, and even a nod to chinchillas is made, playing off Chandrasekhar’s supposedly dark Mexican complexion. Even the central plot is ripped from the first film, in which troopers battle it out with local troopers (Will Sasso, Tyler Labine, and Hayes MacArthur) while uncovering a smuggling scheme that resides closer to home than they think with a romantic subplot unfolding between two opposing sides (this time involving Emmanuelle Chriqui).
It’s a plot that strays far from what was originally discussed during San Diego Comic Con back in 2006, in which the sequel would actually be a prequel following the fathers of the troopers. And while Super Troopers 2’s smuggling does involve an eco-terrorist named Guy (Rob Lowe, melding his depraved Tommy Boy [‘95] character with that of Parks and Recreation’s Chris Traeger), the only eco-terrorism that’s going on is how recycled everything feels.
☕☕ / ☕☕☕☕☕
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