I believe Anchorman and its less than good sequel is a prime example of the thought being better than the final product. While Super Troopers 2 isn’t a bad film the idea of it was much better than what we’ve been given. When Jackass 2&3 were released, straight to dvd versions were released showing all the extras that didn’t make the final cut for the feature lengths; Jackass 2.5 and Jackass 3.5. To say that the feature films had structure is being liberal with the word structure, but there was a clear path whereas the extras were more random and often times much more incoherent. This is what Super Troopers 2 felt like to me, more Super Troopers 1.5 rather than a full blown sequel. It felt like an extras compilation more than a continuation that we were hoping for.
Don’t misunderstand, this movie is funny, it has its merits but it often feels forced. I couldn’t help but imagine how well this would be received had it been the first film. If the original classic wasn’t around to support the sequel what would everyone make of this film. I can’t see it being welcomed with open arms. A majority of this film is heavily reliant on the audience being fans of the first. Now this isn’t to say that all the jokes are call backs to the first but when it isn’t referencing the old jokes it’s simply hoping you’ll like the new jokes because you like these characters, you’re already familiar with them. Basically as a sequel it’s fine with adequate jokes but as a stand alone film it falters quite a bit.
Beyond the comedy of it all the story just isn’t interesting. It’s a rehash of the first finding a big stash of drugs hidden by drug dealers and the trooper stooges failing miserably to find the culperates. Insert incessant, haphazard joke riffing. It’s one big gag reel.
The big story behind the scenes is the funding that was made possible by fans of the original film. Through indiegogo a fund of over $4 million was raised to make the sequel. While I love this idea of getting the biggest fans directly involved the end result is glaring in its lack of funding and backing from the studio. It all feels cheap and glued together with Elmer’s. I could rarely see a fully funded movie but rather a hurried production with little to no budget. I saw more indiegogo than Super Troopers 2 if that makes any sense.
Okay, what did it get right? First and foremost it got back the heart and soul of the first, the cast. The entire Broken Lizard crew is back to raise hell and the comradery is still the strongest attribute as it was with the first. Second, the jokes are funny and plentiful even when they are shoved in simply for the sake of more jokes. And when I speak of the jokes that work I mean primarily the ones that are spoken rather than the physical comedic stunts like falling out of a tree which is, well, honestly not funny. Oh but a fire truck hitting a celebrity is funny thought right?! Eh. More like a last minute afterthought not fully thought through.
As much as this film is lacking it still achieves one thing at that is leaving hope that we see these characters again. As forced as it can feel the charm of these characters and the actors playing them still manages to shine through the mundanity of it all. When they’re together on screen it just works. I hope we see a (better funded) Super Troopers 3 and a Beerfest 2 and Potfest and whatever else they conjure up despite the drop in quality from the original. Speaking of the original, a highlight of that film are the quotable lines as they fire one after the other relentlessly. I can’t say I recall a whole lot of future classic lines from its sequel. Maybe I’m a too close to the sequel at the moment, maybe it will require some time for the gems to show themselves. As always, time will tell.
Rated R For: crude sexual content and language throughout, drug material and some graphic nudity
Runtime: 100 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Brian Cox, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 3
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: I could take it or leave it. Wait for it on Netflix or buy it from the cheap bin at Walmart.
Check out the trailer below:
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