Jake had been threatening for years and years to show Jay Chandrasekhar’s 2001 police farce Super Troopers – and this week he finally did.

Since it isn’t a terribly long film, I figured that the perfect pairing would be with a collection of the “cop” skits from Kids In The Hall:

Yes, unfortunately it’s got pretty miserable resolution, but hopefully it gets the point across – I suppose if there’s a point, it’s that the Kids’ police sketches are much briefer and drier than the ones from Super Troopers. Not sure there’s a take-home aside from that.  But on to the feature presentation:

 

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Shenanigans!

Super Troopers follows the story of a unit of five Vermont Highway Patrolmen who seem to be more interested in having shenanigans that are “cheeky and fun” than actually busting criminals.

This may not be cheeky, but it WILL go straight to your cheeks

This may not be cheeky, but it WILL go straight to your cheeks

Like, say, maple syrup drinking contests.

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Ah, the new “Everlast” model!

Or the old “bulletproof cup” gag (hint: you’re supposed to use blanks).

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Hey man, let’s light some Doobie Brothers!

Well, all of their shenanigans are cheeky and fun except for Favra’s. Favra is the troop outcast partly because his shenanigans are cruel and tragic, and partly because he’s been busted down to radio duty following a “school bus” incident.

But sooner or later the plot does have to hit and the troopers find themselves locked in mortal combat with the local police department over two issues – one being jurisdiction over an anonymous murder victim found in an RV (they lose this one) and the other being a competition for dried-up state funding. It appears that one of the two units will end up being shut down for lack of money, and the super troopers are definitely the prime candidates.

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Meet at the evidence locker at midnight!

Things start to look up a bit when the troopers make a big highway drug bust. Due to the correspondence of stickers on the packages of pot and a tattoo on the murder victim, the troopers want to work together with the local police to try to put together an angle on the murder. However, the local police aggressively shut that idea down.

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It would have been easier to make a flasher joke had the character not ACTUALLY been flashing…

Luckily one of our troopers has a budding relationship with Ursula, the hottie on the local police, and when the two of them accidentally discover an additional stash of pot in the ineffectively-searched murder RV, they hatch a plan to make a surprise announcement of the new find during a visit by the Governor, hoping to prove their value and save their funding.

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I’m a lean, mean fighting machine!

Unfortunately, unbeknowst to them the outcast Favra has been “turned” by the locals by the promise of a job once the trooper unit is disfunded, and he reveals the plan allowing the local police to secure the “new” bust and drop news of it to the Governor themselves.

Things are looking pretty bleak for the troopers at this point, but Ursula leads them to discover a secret nighttime meeting between the locals and the drug runners. It turns out that the locals have been running protection for the drug ring the whole time, and that Ursula knew about it was was largely just trying to find a way to guide the troopers to discover this. (Though she does stick with her new boyfriend.)

It would seem that this discovery should certainly save the troopers’ jobs, but their unit is eliminated anyway…but it’s OK because the movie cleverly reveals that the guys from the troopers are now the local police (the previous local police having lost their jobs for obvious reasons). The End.

Super Troopers is a funny movie, but maybe the best part of it is that the plot kind of sneaks up on you. As a movie that lands clearly in the farce genre, you don’t expect much out of the plot, and for the first half of the movie it doesn’t appear as if there is much of one. And when one finally does show up (in the form of the funding cuts and the drug bust/murder) it looks like it’s a pretty cursory plot. I wouldn’t call it a “twist” per se, but the idea that the local police were involved in the drug running ring really does not occur to the viewer (at least, not to me) until it’s revealed. And that’s pretty well done. I mean, you get that they’re antagonistic departments…but all of a sudden about five things that happen in the movie make perfect sense once you realize the local police were running protection. And that’s not revelatory or anything, but it’s just kind of nice in a farce movie.

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