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Alas for My College Nostalgia, Super Troopers 2 Isn’t Getting Great Reviews

You can go see Super Troopers 2 right meow, but should you?

There were few greater joys in college than a late-night Super Troopers watch with friends. The raunchy underdog movie about Vermont highway patrolmen by the comedy troupe Broken Lizard was a lot of trippy fun; it came out in 2001 but feels like the product of an entirely different and more light-hearted century. Even nearly two decades later (!!!) the classic Super Troopers jokes remain in the forefront of my brain.

If you can get through the “cat game” car scene without laughing you are a much stronger person than I am.

A sequel to Super Troopers has been in the works for a very long time, and now it’s being released today—appropriately, on 4/20.

Like many a sequel, Super Troopers 2 appears to go much, much bigger, but is it better? This time around, the guys become Canadian Mounties somehow, and Rob Lowe and Lynda Carter are there! Everything else that we see in the trailers seems like a lot of callbacks to the old gags and some better-funded new ones.

So far, the movie’s racked up a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it rather rotten at the moment. It’s quite possible that the brand of humor Broken Lizard employs doesn’t resonate with the movie-critic sort; I’ll reserve final judgment until I get to see it for myself. (I can’t say I’m exactly chomping at the bit these days to see a movie that glorifies the abuse of authority by officers and likely has some less-than-subtle scenes about women, however.)

A lot of reviews seem to be saying that the movie’s probably more for super-Super Trooper fans than viewers who are going in fresh, so the mixed reviews are not surprising. Super Troopers was already an acquired taste. As Rolling Stone points out:

You either discovered the comedy courtesy of a buddy and turned the film’s punchlines and nut-punches into a shared secret handshake, or you knew almost nothing about it. You either find concepts like Afghanistanimation and seeing how many times you can sneak a cat-noise into a routine traffic stop insanely hilarious or you do not.

(I am obviously guilty of the latter.)

I think Rolling Stone also sums up pretty succinctly what awaits most viewers in the theater:

It’s just bros with badges, acting bro-y. Super Troopers 2 isn’t going to win over new converts. It’s a new set of in-jokes for old fans, a snickering preaching to the choir. Everyone else will be just as mystified by the aggressiveness and niche appeal of this one as the last one, feel just as left out in the cold. Broken Lizard has given the cult what they wanted, and they owe the rest of us nothing. In that respect, the movie delivers on both counts.

Meowch. But hey, it’s 4/20, and a lot of people aren’t looking for Shakespeare to entertain them today. If you’re already a Super Troopers fan, this looks like it’ll be fun enough, with a lot of jokes about Canada and Rob Lowe exclaiming, “Great Tim Horton’s Ghost!” If I were still in college, this would seem like an excellent way to blaze through an evening.

(image: screencap)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.