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Fox Searchlight Pictures
Official Site
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Producer: Richard Perello
Written by: Broken Lizard (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske)
Cast: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Eric Stolhanske, Daniel von Bargen, Marisa Coughlan, Brian Cox

Rating: out of 5

I first saw SUPER TROOPERS last year at SXSW 2001. It was a midnight showing on one of the final days of the film festival, and though bleary-eyed from a full day of movie-going, I was determined to see this one simply because the program indicated it was directed by one Jay Chandrasekhar. You see, being a recent escapee myself, I feel it is my duty to support fellow Indians who have managed to escape a cultural fate that dictates we choose from the holy career trinity of doctor/lawyer/engineer.

Anyway, not knowing what to expect, I settled in as the lights went down just hoping I could stay awake. Five minutes later, I was laughing so hard my sides hurt, and the laughs continued until the movie was over. It has taken almost a year for SUPER TROOPERS to make it to theaters, but it was worth the wait because I laughed just as hard when I saw it again.

SUPER TROOPERS is about a bunch of fun-loving Vermont State Troopers (played by the members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe) who escape the boredom of working in the boonies along the Canadian border by playing mind-games with unsuspecting motorists and holding maple-syrup chugging contests. When impending budget cuts threaten the department, the troopers attempt to clean up their act but are thwarted by their arch-enemies at the local police department. Then by a stroke of good-fortune, a dope-smuggling ring is uncovered, and it becomes an all-out war between the rival law-enforcement agencies to crack the case first in order to save their jobs.

While the humor in SUPER TROOPERS is definitely aimed at the student crowd (indeed the Broken Lizard troupe is currently touring college campuses to promote the movie), it does not condescend. In the midst of puerile sight-gags and frat-boy antics, there are riffs that may require your brain to fire a few neurons, such as a bit about “Afghanistanimation” and catch-’em-if-you-can movie references (snozzberries anyone?). The five members of Broken Lizard have a fresh, unaffected energy and appear to be having the time of their lives in their sophomore celluloid romp.

Bottom line, the test of a comedy is whether it makes people laugh. Judging from my own reaction and that of the audience both times I saw it, SUPER TROOPERS passes with flying colors.

—Sandhya Shardanand

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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