Despite the stupid sounding title Super Troopers is a pretty hilarious movie. The film was directed by Jay Chandrasekhar and written by and starring the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, of which Mr. Chandrasekhar is the leader. Super Troopers can trace its lineage back to such brilliantly silly films as Stripes and Caddy Shack. Although it falls short of the same kind of enshrinement its a step in the right direction.
Just recently my friends and I were bemoaning the lack of new, original comedies. I cant remember the last time I saw something that was really fresh and funny and wasnt spoofing something else. Also other than the sorry Police Academy franchise I cant remember someone taking a comedic shot at law enforcement.
The plot loosely revolves around the rivalry between the local and state cops and their efforts to catch some drug smugglers. Like the Delta fraternity in Animal House the Vermont State Troopers are a bunch of immature clowns who prefer to pull pranks on each other and motorists as opposed to enforcing the law. They also feud with the local cops, who dont get it. Theyd rather act like uptight, tough guys enforcing the law. Pretty soon it becomes clear only one police force is going to be left standing. Can you say Toga?
The filmmakers also took some risks with their comedy. In a very un-pc move one of the officers confiscates a kids bag of pot and then later proceeds to smoke it. Also Mr. Chandrasekhar pokes fun at his Indian roots throughout the film. At various times characters take him for African American or Hispanic. There are also a few references to wife swapping.
Some of the gags are pretty standard, revolving around masturbation and shaving cream fights but others are proudly original. In one scene an officer wins a bet by saying meow ten times casually throughout his conversation with a motorist. In another scene an officer appears to be having sex with a bear. This is some funny, twisted stuff.
Even the sub-plot involving a romance between a highway patrolman and a local cop, played by Marisa Coughlan, is done well. Their courtship is always played for gags, so there is no distraction from the comedy. As the lone female Ms. Coughlan manages to hold her own among the rowdy guys.
According to the guys of Broken Lizard they tried to write the script to Super Troopers with a joke very six seconds. They might not have achieved quite that velocity but the jokes fly pretty fast. Im Erik Petersen for Movie Magazine.
© 2002 - Erik Petersen - Air Date: 2/20/02
USA - 2002