As news headlines or literally any black person would likely suggest, nothing about shitty cops is inherently hilarious. So the fact that 2001’s Super Troopers remains a legitimately delightful bit of shenanigans involving law enforcement is something of a miracle. Not, like “the successful prosecution of a cop who murdered an unarmed person of color on video” miracle. But, you know, like a “comedy miracle.” Which is nice! Super Troopers 2 is not a miracle. It’s a fairly staid, tame endeavor that almost seems flagrantly annoyed at having to repeat the behaviors that made people actually enjoy the first installment. But Rob Lowe does jiggle an exposed wiener. So maybe it’s all worth it?
The affable dorks of Vermonter justice are back for two hours of mocking Canadians, the height of modern, groundbreaking comedy. Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stohlanske), Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Foster (Paul Soter), Farva (Kevin Heffernan) and Captain O’Hagan (Brian Cox) are called back to duty to oversee the passing of a formerly Canadian town to the United States, due to a geography error. The current mayor, Guy LeFranc (Lowe), and three Mounties—Podien (Hayes MacArthur), Bellefuille (Tyler Labine) and Archambault (Will Sasso)—harass and mock our heroes using accents that are intentionally silly and unintentionally overwhelmingly and unpleasantly grating.
If you’re looking for more hijinks as the troopers pull over unsuspecting cars, that happens exactly one time during a montage. However, if you’re excited about a hundred billion jokes about a man taking a women’s hormone supplement and getting “bitchy,” clear your goddamn weekend, buddy! So much time is spent on plot contrivances and “story,” it’s like nobody in Super Troopers 2 actually watched Super Troopers. No one who has watched the original 20 times says “Sure, you laugh at the naked, tiny-dicked jerk being covered in powdered sugar, but what really stays with you is the spiritual journey the characters take you on and the plot.” Thankfully, “Salvation, Farva be thy name.” Ridiculing an overcompensating, abusive alpha-male who will scream “If you don’t love America, leave!” before getting all the words in the national anthem wrong feels even more deeply, profoundly satisfying than ever before. Must be the weather.
The knee-jerk fury at a failed sequel to something beloved has always seemed violently short-sighted. Super Troopers is no less deliriously laugh-inducing just because Super Troopers 2 is “meh” at best. The Broken Lizard troupe had the potential to knock another installment out of the park. They very clearly didn’t, but they could have. The potential of getting more of something we already love—with absolutely no risk that every copy of the original is somehow now legally prohibited from viewing—means that even a potential Super Troopers 3 deserves a shot. Although, at this rate, a third installment will just be “women be shopping” jokes and 117 minutes of disinteresting narrative contrivances. Still, if Farva gets therapeutically shamed every few minutes, maybe we do need it…
Grade = C