Super Troopers
3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
altered state police Harking back to those good-natured-yet-rude 1980s comedies (Caddyshack anyone?), this entertainingly goofy film keeps us laughing while keeping its characters real; there's not a whiff of knowing postmodern cynicism anywhere. It's about a group of practical joking Vermont State Troopers (captain Cox, leader Chandrasekhar, loverboy Soter, moron Heffernan, rookie Stolhanske and madman Lemme), fighting to keep their jobs amid statewide budget crunches. They try to be serious about their work, but find that rather difficult ... and pointless. But they also know they need to outsmart the local police chief (Von Bargen) if they want to preserve their careers. And stumbling upon a marijuana smuggling operation couldn't happen at a better time.

The five writer-actors work under the name Broken Lizard, and their ensemble performance is hilarious, bouncing off each other perfectly with offhanded humour and big jokes that hit the mark simply because they never stretch the realms of credibility (much). The plot itself is virtually irrelevant, but at least it doesn't insult the intelligence as it provides a framework to let the actors cut loose with their zany antics. Some of this isn't nearly as funny as the performers obviously thought it was, although there's a wonderfully warped undercurrent that peeks out every now and then. The film is very slight and forgettable, never even attempting the feel of a classic comedy. It merely tries to keep us chuckling for 101 minutes. And that it does.

cert 15 themes, language, innuendo, drugs 2.Aug.02

dir Jay Chandrasekhar
scr Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
with Brian Cox, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Marisa Coughlan, Daniel von Bargen, Kevin Heffernan, Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme, Andre Vippolis, Joey Kern, Geoffrey Arend, Lynda Carter
release US 15.Feb.02; UK 15.Nov.02
01/US 1h41

Head case. Mac (Lemme) lets the gang practice shooting at his bullet-proof codpiece...

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall