TL;DR – A combination of off-brand Afghani animation, smugglers on the border, and all the shenanigans.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and end credit scene
Super Troopers is one of those little films that could. Fighting hard to get it financed and being turned down at every point and then finally getting it greenlit but you only have $1.2 million to put your passion project together. Well after many years a sequel is about to be released so I thought it would be good prep to take a look down memory lane at a world full of shenanigans, so, many, shenanigans.
So to set the scene, up in Vermont near the border with Canada there are two different yet equally important police organisations, the local police that enforce the law in the town and the State Troopers that keep the highways safe, these are their stories, dun dun. The local cops are all hard-nosed fun killers bar Officer Ursula Hanson (Marisa Coughlan), while our protagonists Trooper Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn (Jay Chandrasekhar), Trooper Jeff Foster (Paul Soter), Trooper MacIntyre “Mac” Womack (Steve Lemme), Trooper Robert “Rabbit” Roto (Erik Stolhanske) and Trooper Rodney Farva (Kevin Heffernan) under the command of Captain John O’Hagen (Brian Cox) are much more laid back, having fun with their jobs. Ok well, not Farva, but everyone else. Well it is budget crunch time and their Trooper station is on the short list to be shut down and all they have to do is not cause a scene, and well I think you can guess what is about to happen.
For me, Super Troopers was one of those films like Euro Trip, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Anchorman that were part of this secret code among me and my friends of films that we probably should not have seen but somehow everyone had seen them and the catchphrases enter into your lexicon. But like films that you have stored away in the past when you come back to visit them, they tend not hold up when you come back to them years later. So there was some hesitation loading it back up on Netflix to see it again after all this time. However, I was glad to see that on the whole it still all holds up mostly.
When you only have a very small budget you have to be really economical with what you film and what you have in the story, and much like say Hot Fuzz, it requires you to be creative. It also makes you focus much more on the characters which are the film’s key strength and weaknesses. The rapport between the cast is so clear to see, it is the kind of bond that you get from working with someone closely over the years. It is also this bond that sells a lot of the jokes, which could have so easily fallen apart with a different crew. As well as this, you have such wonderful supporting actors like Brian Cox and Marisa Coughlan who just give it everything and it such a comical dynamic to watch on screen. Of course, once you know the story it loses some of its punch but that is a problem for every comedy that exists in the world.
Given what has happened in America in the preceding time I was wondering how this would work today, and I think the only thing stat grates more now is Farva because it becomes less and less clear why he wasn’t just fired. However, while that is frustrating before you can get too annoyed they have the meow contest and you can’t help but smile. Watching it now it does also feel a little more disjointed than before but I think that is more of a change in style over the years.
In the end, I do think I would still recommend the first Super Troopers even today. Now it is still an American R-rated comedy, so if you don’t like humour that finds itself on more of the crass side of things then you are not going to like this film but for me, it still has a lot of charm, and I will always appreciate it for introducing shenanigans into my lexicon.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Super Troopers
Directed by – Jay Chandrasekhar
Written by – Broken Lizard
Music by – .38 Special & The Unband
Cinematography by – Joaquín Baca-Asay
Edited by – Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan & Jacob Craycroft
Starring – Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cox, Marisa Coughlan, James Grace, Michael Weaver, Dan Fey, Andre Vippolis, Joey Kern & Geoffrey Arend with Jim Gaffigan, John Bedford Lloyd & Lynda Carter
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: 14A; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R