Following a border dispute between the US and Canada, a team of experienced-but-fired police officers are recruited to help replace the existing Canadian Mounties and acclimate the local town to the American way of life.
'Super Troopers' worked its way into the popular consciousness by way of DVD and the burgeoning internet culture, but the comedy of the film itself was very much entrenched in the style of 'Police Academy' and 'Caddyshack'. Comedy sequels, by and large, rarely if ever match what's come before. 'Ghostbusters 2', 'Airplane II' and even action comedy variants like 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' and 'Johnny English Reborn' confirm that this is the case, but nevertheless, you have comedians ready to give a shot and audiences willing to pay for the experience to see if it can live up to the promise.
With 'Super Troopers 2', there's a sense that while it may not have the same easy and laconic charm of the original, there's still a gamely group of actors who are not only willing - but actively trying to make the audience laugh. The comedy is broad and slapstick and has all the subtlety of, well, dick and fart jokes. To be fair to the Broken Lizard comedy troupe - that's Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske - they aren't trying to be anything other than that. It's not aiming for dry wit or repartee within the confines of geopolitical differences between Canada and the US. Instead, you've got a trio of Mounties with the worst French-Canadian accents you're likely to hear and the infectiously friendly Rob Lowe acting as a twisted version of Justin Trudeau.
The stereotypes go both ways, of course. The character of Farva - who was always the butt of jokes in the first one - is on form here as an everything-but-MAGA hat wearing American, who barks the Pledge of Allegiance to a rowdy crowd of Canadians. Likewise, there's plenty of broadly offensive jokes about poutine, the local wildlife, Canadian politeness, but none of it ever seems to gel as effectively as it did in the past. Maybe it's just that comedy in general has moved on a bit from the kind that 'Super Troopers 2' traffics in, but there's something in it for the die-hard quoters of the original. After all, they're the ones that actually bankrolled the production budget, so why shouldn't they pander to them?
It's just a shame that in doing so, 'Super Troopers 2' misses what made the original so much fun - namely, the snappy energy and the ease with which everyone bounces off each other. Here, it feels like the excitement to be actually back on screen together and working on familiar ground overrode the ability to form cohesive scenes together. In a lot of ways, this movie would have worked better as a TV series or some kind of sketch series than a whole movie. Rob Lowe and the Canadian counterparts feel like they've been tacked on rather than given a meaningful role, rather than trying to do something interesting with them.
Still, for all of this, 'Super Troopers 2' has its moments and there's enough to make you chuckle despite your best intentions not to.