Paul Soter, Brian Cox
- Rated R
- Buy the BD
All photos © 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
o you're driving up the Vermont state highway with a group of friends on the way to Canada when a trooper suddenly stops you. You've done nothing wrong, but these officers are looking for more than just trouble. They need an easy outlet to have a little fun on their stretch of jurisdiction, and they'll do anything – including playing mind games on poor victims – to make it through the day. This is the basic premise to the underground hit, "Super Troopers," a hilarious collegiate comedy whose jokes almost always work, but are often held back by a non-existent plot that tries too hard to appear normal.
Written by and starring the comedy troupe known as Broken Lizard, "Super Troopers" centers around the everyday antics of a small group of Vermont state troopers: Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), the senior officer and resident minority; Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), the constantly hazed rookie; partners Mac (Steve Lemme) and Foster (Paul Soter); and Farva (Kevin Heffernan), the pain-in-the-ass militant with a niche for getting suspended. Along the way, the five officers manage to severely piss off their devoted captain (Brian Cox) and frequently engage in brawls with the local police force. But when the governor threatens to dismiss the troopers due to state budget cuts, they must crack down and solve a mysterious murder involving a drug ring and an Afghanistan monkey cartoon delivering subliminal messages.
The film's opening sequence is perhaps the funniest stoner-related prank in the history of movies, but it takes a lot more than just one joke to develop a solid comedy. Oddly enough, "Super Troopers" is far from perfect, but it still manages to come out ahead in the end with a healthy variety of razor sharp gags that help the audience forget about the diluted story. None of the stars (save Brian Cox) are especially great actors, but they know exactly what's required of their respective roles and it hit out of the park every time. Despite equal screen time, however, Kevin Heffernan steals the show with his hilarious performance as the idiotic Farva.
After watching "Super Troopers," it's evident that the men of Broken Lizard are brimming with comic talent, but they still have a long way to gobefore reaching the high standards set by past comedy troupes like Monty Python. The one thing they have perfected is their onscreen chemistry, and though it's fun to watch as they play pranks on innocent passers-by (the "meow" game is an instant classic), it's even more so watching them do it to one another. This is the main reason the film works so well, and though the story is certainly lacking in originality, "Super Troopers" is a great sophomore effort that any fan of intelligent dumb comedy can appreciate.
Single-Disc Blu-Ray Review:
The original DVD release for “Super Troopers” wasn’t that great. Aside from two audio commentaries with the film’s stars, the only other extras included was a short promotional featurette and a handful of deleted scenes and outtakes. The audio commentaries – which featured Jay Chandrasekhar and Erik Stolhanske on the first track and Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme and Paul Soter on the other track – were actually pretty good, so it’s nice to see that they’ve been included on the single-disc Blu-ray release. Still, it’s the new bonus material that really makes this a must-buy for fans. The cast has recorded a brand new visual commentary (with special guests that come and go based on their involvement in the film), along with an interactive drinking game (“Stupor Trooper”) tailor-made for its audience. It’s not very often that a studio actually adds worthwhile extras to a catalog re-release, but if this is a sign of things to come, Fox will have an upper hand on the competition.