Super Troopers (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A new twist on the Animal House formula.

Animal House - rowdy, food fightin', beer-guzzlin', skirt-chasin', rock 'n roll fraternity battles against uptight, prissy, arrogant rich fraternity and evil Dean. One of their members gets into trouble dating a girl from the "other side".

Super Troopers - rowdy, food fightin', beer-guzzlin', skirt-chasin', rock 'n roll highway patrolmen battle against uptight, prissy, arrogant rich local police force and narrow-minded Governor (played by Wonder Woman!). One of their members gets into trouble dating a girl from the "other side".

NUDITY REPORT

Amy Delucia shows parts of her breasts in a sex scene in the deleted scenes.

Maria Tornberg shows her breasts in the film as well as in additional deleted scenes.

Steve Lemme shows his butt.

Kevin Heffernan appears completely naked, front and rear, including Mr Happy.

It's not much different, except that you have to make a greater suspension of disbelief in Super Troopers. You expect college guys to engage in lawless Shenanigans, so there is no problem continuing to identify with them when they do. You don't really expect State Troopers to sexually exploit speeders, force dope smokers to smoke all their remaining stash, and act in general like they are attending a keg party 24/7. In fact, the only time they ever pull anyone over is when they want to fuck with their heads. Back at the station, they get off on smoking dope and watching Afghani cartoons (in "Afghanimation").

If you can get past the credibility issue, it's pretty damned funny. The script to Super Troopers was assembled by a comedy troupe known as Broken Lizard, and directed by one of their members. They got their group together at Colgate University in the late 80's, and have been working toward stardom ever since. They're getting close, and are still doing their college frat humor. I realize that some of these jokes must have seemed funnier when they were stoned, but I thought it worked in general. It's refreshing to hear some new voices in comedy, and these guys have their own take on things.

DVD info from Amazon


Featurette - Road Trip New York Wrap
Deleted Scenes With Commentary
Outtakes
Extended Scenes
Alternate Ending
Widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85:1

For those of us who enjoy raunchy R-rated humor, it's good to see that somebody is still doing it in a world full of pablum.

Super Troopers is not perfect, but it's promising, and it did well enough financially and critically that the lads will be back. I'll go to see their next feature.

By the way, there is lots of extra footage on the DVD, so it's a good package.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2.5/4, filmcritic.com 3/5

  • was chosen as the audience favorite at the SXSW festival in Austin

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it was kind of a surprise mini-hit. Made for three million dollars, it grossed $18 million in the USA and made a profit for everyone.

 

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. As a screwball comedy, it is a good first effort from the boys. Clever enough story as an excuse for some funny smart-alecky sketch material. Some material works, some doesn't, but - bottom line - I'll go to their next film.

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