It has been 17 years since Broken Lizard graced us with the brilliantly funny Super Troopers.
That movie brought the world the men of the Deleware Highway Patrol — police officers who were more interested in pranks than they were actually bringing down criminals. It was a huge hit for a certain demographic — mainly college-aged guys who loved raunchy humor.
Super Troopers made $18.4 million on a $3 million budget and it helped Broken Lizard make a few more movies. The second was a step down in the horror comedy Club Dread, which only made $5 million. Beerfest did better at $19.1 million. Finally, The Slammin’ Salmon confused everyone — including their studio — getting an extremely limited release and only making $41,587 at the box office.
That failure ended Broken Lizard’s movie production.
That made it surprising to see Broken Lizard back nine years after the failure of Slammin’ Salmon with a sequel to their first movie — Super Troopers 2. The promotions sold it to the same audience that loved the first one, especially since they chose to release it on 4/20 — which is the code for cannabis.
At the end of the day, Super Troopers 2 is set up the same as its predecessor. Remember how the first movie started out with a ridiculous setup where three stoners were arrested but then kidnapped by a psycho who had a shootout with the police — all proven to be a prank by the Deleware Highway Patrol?
Super Troopers 2 starts out with two police officers (Seann William Scott and Damon Wayans Jr) pulling over a tour bus for speeding. It turns out the bus is owned by a rock band comprised of the guys who used to work as the Deleware Highway Patrol. This turns into a chase that involves a gunfight and the death of one of the former officers.
It was all a dream but started the movie out on the same crazy footing that the first one took.
After this, we learn that they did lose their jobs despite their big bust in the first movie becaue a ride along with Fred Savage resulted in the actor’s death. Then, their former Captain O’Hagen (Brian Cox) calls them and gives them a chance to get their jobs back.
They learn that a town in Canada is now considered part of the United States and if they go in and help the transition as the new highway patrol in charge there, they can get their jobs back. The problem is that Canadians hate them because they are Americans, the Canadian Mounted Police hate them because they are losing their jobs, and a slimy mayor (Rob Lowe) seems to want to make them look like idiots.
As with the first movie, it ends up with the Super Troopers in battle with another police force — this one the Canadian police.
What made the first movie work was not the story of the battle between police officers but the practical jokes, the insults, and the visual sight gags. Those are all back in full-force here.
While the movie starts out a bit slow with the jokes feeling forced, by the time the midway point hits, the entire Broken Lizard troupe are going strong and don’t seem like they missed a beat. Farva is still insufferable and Thorny is still very, very strange, picking up where they left off.
There are some great laugh out loud moments — if you enjoyed the humor from the first movie. There were also a lot of very risque moments, including some in-your-face male frontal nudity. The only real problem is that the jokes are not as sharp as the first movie and this one suffers from diminishing returns.
The good news is that Super Troopers 2 is Broken Lizard’s most commercially successful movie. it is sitting at just over $25.4 million on a $13.5 million budget — making a profit similar to the first movie. This was also done with the group crowdfunding a lot of the startup money. Fans chipped in $4.5 million, proving they wanted it.
What resulted was a movie cut from the same vein as the first, but Super Troopers 2 feels like just another comedy sequel — funny but not as inspired as the original. Hopefully, this will allow Broken Lizard to make more movies, though, because they look like they still have a lot to offer.