For one day, at least—last Friday—the top movie at the box office didn’t star The Rock or a Marvel super hero. No, the country’s #1 movie was a sequel to a 16-year-old quasi-stoner-comedy that made all of $18 million in its entire theatrical run. I’m speaking of Super Troopers 2, coming hot on the heels of 2002’s Super Troopers, both made by the apparently still-existing comedy troupe Broken Lizard.
Now, look, I realize the merits of critically examining a movie like Super Troopers 2 are limited, but I did re-watch the original in preparation. And I need to say that I didn’t hate it! It’s not good, it’s really really stupid, but I did laugh more than a few times, and it definitely holds up—except for the flip phones, Super Troopers could have easily been made this year.
What’s really weird, then, is that Super Troopers 2 feels like it was the one that was made 16 years ago. It again follows a group of Vermont highway patrolmen who generally like drugs and playing pranks on each other and the unsuspecting people they pull over. The plot is negligible, except that this time the guys end up across the border in Canada, which is the source of much of the attempted humor, because of course Canadians talk funny and French Canadians talk even funnier.
I don’t know, are we still doing the “Canada is funny” thing? I guess so. Still, this would have been fairly harmless, but Super Troopers 2 is also bizarrely jingoistic and sexist, which is also strange, because the first one didn’t have these problems. They might have been able to get away with these jokes a couple decades ago, but today, they seem incredibly tone deaf. The couple times I laughed were when they were literally repeating jokes from the first movie.
Having said all that, Super Troopers 2 will make double or triple what it cost to produce, the theater I saw it in was at least ¾ full, and the crowd absolutely ate it up. So what do I know?