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  Super Troopers Community Service
Year: 2001
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske, Brian Cox, Marisa Coughlan, Daniel von Bargen, Lynda Carter, James Grace, Michael Weaver, Dan Fey, Jim Gaffigan, Jimmy Noonan, Philippe Brenninkmeyer, Maria Tornberg
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A group of three college boys are driving towards the Canadian border from Vermont, and are discussing beachfront property, and whether you also own the sea and the sand there as well as the house. Yes, they're smoking marijuana, or at least they are until a police car pulls up alongside them and the cops inside stare at them. One of the college boys starts eating the bags of drugs they're carrying to get rid of them, but when faced with yet another one he refuses, and it is thrown out of the window. They can't believe their luck when the police car drives on ahead, but their spirits soon fall when another pulls up behind and stops them. These cops are messing with their minds because that's what they do - you have to pass the time somehow, after all.

Super Troopers was American comedy troupe Broken Lizard's second film, and probably the one which made their name with the moviegoing public, or some sections of them at any rate. Casting themselves as fun loving, gag pulling policemen could have resulted in a 2000s version of The Choirboys, but they have no such unfriendly pretentions and for much of the film it could be a Saturday Night Live-inspired movie, only with more drug and sex jokes to spice things up. Unfortunately, although the humour is daft, it also pretty mild in spite of the subject matter, and very occasionally tickles the funny bone - some would disagree, however, hence the cult following.

There is a plot to all this, even if it it does come across as a string of sketches around a police theme. In fact, there are two (count 'em - two) main plotlines running concurrently, the first being that there are marijuana smugglers operating in the area, and they may have been responsible for the death of a young woman - with a tattoo on her body of the sticker found on the bundles of the narcotic. The other plotline concerns the local police, who the highway patrol have a petty rivalry with, especially as it looks as if the highway patrol may be closed down soon to save money. They have to prove themselves worthy of being kept open.

Not all the local police are bad, only most of them. But Ursula (Marisa Coughlan) is an exception, positively reasonable by comparison, and the subject of a romantic bid by one of the highway cops, Foster (Paul Soter), and he's nothing if not keen. The jokes tend towards aiming for easy laughs, some of which hit the target, such as cop Mac (Steve Lemme) testing his unusual form of body armour on the firing range; that said there's a refreshing lack of pop culture references shoehorned in: Lynda Carter appears as the state governor, but you won't hear one Wonder Woman line throughout her screen time. Brian Cox has fun as the long-suffering Captain, particularly in the scenes where he's required to get drunk, and the cast in general are up to the task. It's just that increasing the wit quotient could have lifted the script out of the ordinary, and Broken Lizard have no one to blame but themselves for that. Music by 38 Special.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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Jay Chandrasekhar  (1968 - )

American comedy director, actor and writer and a member of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe. Directed four successful Broken Lizard comedies - Paddle Cruiser, Super Troopers, Club Dread and Beerfest. Chandrasekhar's big screen version of The Dukes of Hazzard was released in summer 2005.

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