‘Super Troopers 2’ is a fun time, though not much else

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

If there’s any doubt about the demand for a “Super Troopers” sequel, the fans actually footed the bill for this one.

After Fox Searchlight refused to provide the budget for comedy troupe Broken Lizard’s latest farce, the troupe turned to the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and raised over twice their initial goal of $2 million. At first glance, this may be surprising, but the original “Super Troopers” has made quite a name for itself since its release with its surreal, endlessly quotable gags and laid-back tone. It’s kind of surprising we haven’t gotten a sequel until now.

So, is “Super Troopers 2” worth the 17-year wait? Yes and no.

Retired Vermont state troopers Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn (Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directs the film), Jeff Foster (Paul Soter), MacIntyre “Mac” Womack (Steve Lemme), Robert “Rabbit” Roto (Erik Stolhanske), the troublesome Rodney “Rod” Farva (Kevin Heffernan) and their former boss John O’Hagen (Brian Cox) are called to go oversee a new highway patrol station in a disputed area between Canada and the United States. Once the crew arrives, they discover of a stockpile of drugs, counterfeit merchandise and enter into a dangerous conspiracy.

The cast of “Super Troopers 2” is its biggest virtue. Everyone in the film is clearly having a blast, and it’s a joy to see these characters riff on each other again. Their chemistry and brand of improvised, vulgar humor hasn’t aged a day.

One of the best characters from the original, Farva, has actually improved. He’s a lovable nuisance that has the potential to get old quick, but the film makes sure never to overexpose him and to put him in organically funny situations. Had this film simply been a movie mostly focused on these characters hanging out, in the vein of the original, it could’ve easily been on par with the original.

In its first half, this film surprisingly surpasses its expectations. Following a hilariously bizarre opening dream sequence, “Super Troopers 2” widely leans on a bare-bones concept of the characters we love goofing off and pulling pranks in The Great White North.

However, the more the focus is put on the Canada aspect of the plotline, the more goodwill the film starts to lose. Chandrasekhar exerts way too much confidence that Canadian stereotypes in and of themselves will get a laugh.

The jokes about Canada aren’t particularly offensive, just overplayed. Many of them manifest themselves in lazy supporting characters. Rob Lowe’s hockey player/Mayor Guy LeFranc is a monumental waste of talent that leans too much on his accent and not enough on actual humor. Emmanuelle Chriqui’s completely one-note love interest is the biggest exemplification of the film’s problem, as she doesn’t seem to have a character beyond being a French Canadian. A trio of mounties, played by Tyler Labine, Will Sasso and Hayes MacArthur, fare a lot better, mostly because they actually get to participate in some of the film’s better comedic moments. Still, they’re a downgrade from the central group of troopers that make this film work so well.

“Super Troopers 2” is not a demanding film, nor is it a great one. Instead, Broken Lizard have put together a comedy sequel that, while having quite a few glaring issues, is hard to dislike.