Toss “Super Troopers 2” onto the tragically large pile of long-in-the-works comedy sequels that failed to bring the laughs, following in the footsteps of “Anchorman 2,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and “Zoolander 2.” An extended length of time between installments didn’t help that trio of comedy sequels, and it certainly hasn’t helped the lackluster “Super Troopers 2.” The majority of the film consists of either references to its predecessor’s most memorable gags or just a handful of new unfunny jokes constantly being rehashed. Oh, and lots of screaming — there’s an incessant amount of shouting in this movie that ended up making me feel like an old man asking his next-door neighbors to turn their dadgum loud music down.
It’s been two years since the events of the first “Super Troopers” movie, and the five Vermont-residing lead characters of the first movie, Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar), Jeff (Paul Soter), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske) and Farva (Kevin Heffernan), have been fired from their policeman jobs and have settled into mundane lives. However, it looks like the group will get to be reunited when it’s revealed that the border between Vermont and Canada is being altered to include a Canadian town as United States territory. Patrolling this newly minted piece of American land will be these five goofballs, who find themselves immediately caught in the crosshairs of the hostile Canadian locals.
From there, a whole bunch of tired Canada gags (lots and lots of “Eh?” jokes) and a plot too similar to the first movie revolving around Thorny and the gang finding contraband in the local area factor heavily into the proceedings. Like the first movie, “Super Troopers 2” feels heavily episodic, but at least its predecessor had the decency to deliver enough humorous gags to make it an overall diverting (though admittedly not much more than that) effort. This go-around though, the thinly-sketched narrative is in service of a whole heap of jokes that just fail to hit the mark. That’s the critical failure of this sequel, it manages to underwhelm simply by nature of not being all that funny.
Too much of the comedy here is centered around jokes that feel overly obvious, and their conspicuous nature only becomes more apparent over time since the film chooses to run some of its weakest gags (namely Thorny constantly taking female hormone pills) well into the ground and then some. Recurring re-hashes of gags from the first film also highlight just how deficient the proceedings are in laughs, just because a joke is recognizable doesn’t mean it’s funny. At least the breakout character of the original “Super Troopers,” Farva, does get the only few really memorable humorous moments here (including one revolving around how his character digests M&M’s) that work in large part thanks to Kevin Heffernan’s committed performance.
Otherwise, the rest of the cast (save for Brian Cox, who’s always a delight) are giving mostly disposable performances that lack much in the way of energy or creativity. Those are two elements that are key to creating memorable comedy, and they’re just not around in a heavy enough supply to make “Super Troopers 2” even just a breezy fun for fun’s sake comedy. I’ve already been told on multiple occasions, in response to my negative response to this film, that “Super Troopers 2” was made just for the hardcore “Super Troopers” fans, but I say they deserved something better than this, a lackluster comedy sequel recycling tired jokes about Canadian stereotypes from “Yoga Hosers.”
Douglas Laman is a film critic, who, when not watching movies, attends Collin College, hangs out with friends and… watches movies. For more of his work and ramblings, visit his website at www.landofthenerds.blogspot.com