Mother of God… after almost two decades, the wait is over. Broken Lizard has finally managed to make its long-awaited sequel to Super Troopers (with the help of a fan-funded Kickstarter campaign, no less), and that raises the question of whether or not the wait was worth it. As it turns out, that question is as complicated to answer as Super Troopers 2‘s own road to the big screen. The belated sequel is definitely funny, as any good comedy should be, but it also likely won’t come anywhere near the legendary status of the 2001 original.
As far as the story goes, there isn’t much to fill you in on because we have pretty much been here before. Almost two full decades have passed since the Vermont State Troopers became heroes for taking down the crooked local cops, and they have seen better days. Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Mac (Steve Lemme), Foster (Paul Soter), and Farva (Kevin Heffernan) continue to spend their days together, while lamenting the loss of their law enforcement gigs years earlier after a mysterious incident involving Fred Savage. However, one day they find a new shot at glory when Governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) and Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) task them with monitoring a contested stretch of the border between America and Canada. As a result, the Super Troopers ride again — this time coming into conflict with small-town Canadian politician Guy LeFranc (Rob Lowe) and a Canadian Mountie squad that looks like a dark mirror of our favorite cops.
Sound familiar? At its core, Super Troopers 2 is essentially a remake of the original, albeit with a Canadian spin. Though some reviewers might take umbrage with Super Troopers 2‘s decision to lean on the familiar, there’s a strong case for us to make that this is exactly what a movie like this needs. Story tends to come second in a Broken Lizard movie, and in this, case it’s no different. The chief appeal in a film like Super Troopers 2 is the joy of hanging out with these delightfully stupid cops, and that’s what we get in this particular sequel.
Whether it’s a Mac and Thorny pulling over a car while on horseback or all of the guys trying out different drugs found in the woods, these scenes feel like awesome ideas cooked up by a group of friends over some beers rather than concrete story ideas — and, weirdly enough, it works for what the film wants to achieve. Honestly, this reviewer could watch Kevin Heffernan run from a bear as Farva all day, and it would never not get a laugh. A cheap, broad laugh? Absolutely, but it’s a laugh nonetheless.
Luckily enough, the dynamic still works too, though we should note that Erik Stolhanske and Paul Soter get even less to do than usual. Mac and Thorny are the two biggest standouts from the old guard, with Rob Lowe and Mad TV‘s Will Sasso bringing some outrageous new energy to the proceedings as less-than-welcoming Canadians.
With that said, though it’s undoubtedly a joy to once again find ourselves in a ride along with Broken Lizard for another Super Troopers movie, it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that there are long stretches of this movie that simply aren’t funny. Sadly, we can place a lot of that blame on one character. In the same way that Anchorman 2 similarly leaned a bit too hard into Brick Tamland for some of its dumbest humor, so too does Super Troopers 2 dial Farva’s insanity up to eleven. He’s no longer just the bumbling squad idiot who wants to be part of the crew; now he’s a borderline psychopath with no sense of self-awareness. Kevin Heffernan attempts to bring as much charm as he can to the role, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the script’s take on Farva has turned him into a full-blown caricature of the classic moron from the first Super Troopers.
A similar sentiment can be shared about Super Troopers 2‘s reliance on old jokes to deliver nostalgia laughs. There are some solid new bits in place, but for every fresh joke there’s at least one other “hey, remember this?” scene that beats us over the head with a reference. The return of Thorny’s “enhance” gag works, as does the use of a traffic stop (featuring some fun cameos by Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr. this time around) to open the film, but some of the more Farva-centric gags feel shoehorned in because the last seventeen years have shown us that “Shenanigans” and “liter of cola” have become Super Troopers touchstones.
Vulgar, stupid, but still a hell of a lot of fun, Super Troopers 2 is a serviceable sequel that delivers some laughs and nostalgia but not much else. While this film seems designed from the ground up to please fans of the original, the odds of it winning over any newcomers or creating buzz for Super Troopers 3 don’t seem particularly good.