Super Troopers (2002)

To be quite honest, I went into Super Troopers expecting a Police Academy rip off. While probably not as good as Police Academy 4 – Citizens on Patrol (my personal favorite of the series, due to all the skateboarding), Super Troopers was a pretty funny comedy based on and about a 15 mile stretch of highway in Vermont.

The Northern Vermont Highway Patrol is having some problems. One of their problems is that their staff prefers goofing off, getting drunk/stoned and playing tricks on unsuspecting roadside victims to simply doing their jobs. Another one of their problems are the local city cops, who ignore jurisdiction laws and end up getting all the good stops along the highway. Their biggest problem is that the fifteen mile stretch of highway they both patrol isn’t big enough for the two of them, and one of their stations is going to get shut down.

Broken Lizard Productions, a comedy troupe out of NYC both wrote and starred in Super Troopers. That’s probably why much of the movie feels like a succession of skits. To top it off, much of the movie feels more like improv skits. Much of the dialogue just feels like the guys ran through the scenes a couple of times and then just filmed it. This isn’t to say the movie isn’t funny, it’s just that it feels really … thin. There’s no secretive twists to be found here, the entire plot could be written by your average Scooby Doo fan.

Then again, the selling point here isn’t the plot; it’s the comedy. Some of the jokes come off as really funny, particularly when the troopers are harassing the average citizen or vice versa. Others, like the lame jokes between the two law enforcement agencies get kind of old. The VHP have one employee (Trooper Farva) who is a classic characature of “that asshole” that we all work with — more than an asshole, he’s “that guy” that has a totally off the wall/inmature sense of humor, who laughs at his own jokes and takes everything a bit too far. From getting drunk at a press conference “just because it’s an open bar” to hiding an entire bar of soap in his partner’s cup of coffee, Farva draws in some of the film’s biggest laughs.

Most of the plot is a hard to swallow. When the troop is in danger of being shut down due to lack of tickets, the guys would rather harass passer-bys, hang out at the shooting range, and break into the evidence room to smoke all the confiscated dope. You would think that at least for the sake of their jobs, they “might” buckle down for a month or so. And likewise, most of the pranks and jokes they try and pull off are pretty on the whole, pretty lame. I spent much of the movie thinking about what I would be doing if I were a cop there instead of the crap they sat around doing.

But at the end of the night, no one will be sitting around talking about the holes in the plot. Anyone who has ever pulled someone over or been pulled over will probably get a few laughs out of this goofiness. Super Troopers is rated R for some brief nudity (both male and female), heavy drug usage and language. I would say at least half of the good chuckles were given away in the trailer — however, there’s still a few gems left in there for fans of humor and cops. And German swingers.

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