Super Troopers (2001)

38.

★★

Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar
Written by: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan and André Vippolis

It's a formal procedure.

Someone once said, “With great power comes great responsibility” (Spiderman wisdom). But for a group of highway cops who refuse to be bored, great power also comes with perks. Messing with stoned teens, creating their own high speed chases and fishing on the job, these highway patrolmen stop at nothing to bring down criminals and laugh at their expense while they’re at it. It sounds like a great premise for a comedy, and very well could have been, if Super Troopers had developed a smarter plot than the overly simplified drug bust that is resolved as stupidly as it is set up.

While the characters are all likeable and distinct, with their fair share of screen time and comedic qualities, Super Troopers wastes its potential by allowing the film’s moronic plot to overshadow its characters. Rather than developing a plot that highlights each character’s function and personality within the film, Super Troopers drags the rivalry between the highway patrol and the local police into a predictable and shallow ending, diminishing the camaraderie and light-hearted shenanigans that promised us a comedy joy ride at the beginning of the film.

A return to plain old pranky fun is always refreshing after seeing too many comedies that try too hard to be thoughtful, witty or subtle. If it’s executed poorly, however, such comedies need to be put away for life.

 

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