Though not required (or, by the book, legal), it may help to walk into Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers 2 as high as a kite. The disgraced gang of merry Vermont Highway Patrol officers, who were last seen in 2001, are back in all their puerile glory. And since their sense of humor is on par with that 12-year-old neighborhood kid who thinks ding-dong-ditch is comedy gold, mood-altering substances may well be in order, if not encouraged; Broken Lizard makes no apologies about their desire to fit snugly in your Netflix queue alongside Half-Baked, Up In Smoke, and Pineapple Express.
Super Troopers 2 reunites the Broken Lizard team, along with returnees Brian Cox, Marisa Coughlan, and Lynda Carter, for a goofball flick about our dastardly, hockey-loving, beer-swilling neighbors to the north. When a mess-up with border boundaries reveals that tiny St. Georges du Laurent, Quebec, is actually part of Vermont, the VHP is re instituted to maintain law and order, replacing the local Mounties.
Naturally this leads to ninety minutes of “I hate Canada!”/”Oh yeah? I hate America!” jokes, but more than a handful actually stick the landing. There is no shortage of lame and tired bits about the metric system and carnal knowledge of moose, but every so often we also get Rob Lowe, doing cameo duty as the St. George Mayor, spouting bon mots like “Great Tim Horton’s ghost!”. There are plenty of callbacks to the original film, too, (it bears a re-watch before you see the sequel), including the return of the now-ubiquitous Jim Gaffigan, who was unknown when he bore the brunt of the famous “meow” prank in the original film.
Famously crowd-funded through an Indiegogo campaign that raised $2 million in a single day, Super Troopers 2 comes across first and foremost as a love letter to the world’s Broken Lizard fans. There’s a prevailing sense that these guys are just in it to have fun and provide stoners with an excellent night at the movies. It has the same feel as the 2001 original, despite having a budget more than five times as large, and the production is clearly B-movie level, if not lower. You would think that sometime in the past 17 years, the guys could have come up with something a little more funny than a brown bear meandering through the barracks and then chasing one of the officers as he runs away screaming into a porta-potty.
Super Troopers 2 is the sequel no one knew they wanted to a movie no one really remembers, and though it never really gets off the ground enough to be considered a flyaway success, there’s no doubt that it does precisely what it sets out to do, and there are just enough chuckles along the way to make it (barely) work. Marijuana not included.