When I was younger, there were a handful of comedies that I kept on a constant rotation. One of these comedies was Super Troopers. Having a wide release in 2002 after debuting at Sundance in 2001, and having a budget of about $3 million, it ended up bringing in $23.2 million at the box office. In its day, it would have been considered a box office success based on its budget and its box office return.
Critics at the time, though, did not look at this film as highly as the audience did. If you check out the Rotton Tomatoes scores for Super Troopers, most critics rated it less than favorable with only 35% of them giving it a positive review. The audience, on the other hand, had 90% that gave it a positive review. It’s these kinds of review that would typically put a film within “cult” status.
The troopers themselves are played by Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, and Kevin Heffernan.
Chandrasekhar and Stolhanske play partners Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn and the rookie Robert “Rabbit” Roto. And Soter and Lemme are partners Jeff Foster and MacIntyre “Mac” Womack.
Heffernan plays the radio dispatcher Rodney “Rod” Farva, and veteran Brian Cox plays the commanding officer Captain John O’Hagen.
The troopers’ main antagonists are actually the local police. Working out of the fictional town of Spurbury, Vermont, Daniel von Bargen leads the local station as Police Chief Bruce Grady, Marisa Coughlan is the radio dispatcher Officer Ursula Hanson, and the patrol officers Jim Rando, Samuel Smy and Jack Burton are played by James Grace, Michael Weaver, and Dan Fey, respectively.
Rounding out the cast with smaller parts are Philippe Brenninkmeyer and Maria Tornberg, as a German couple who stole a car, and Jimmy Noonan plays truck driver Frank Galikanokus. While Lynda Carter plays Vermont Governor Jessman and John Bedford Lloyd plays Spurbury Mayor Timber.
The opening scene sets the tone for the whole film. The scene has Thorn and Rabbit doing a routine traffic stop, spending the time messing with the people in the car. This shows the type of comedy that we end up getting throughout the film. The movie using everything from physical comedy to what is essentially pot comedy during the opening scene.
Not necessarily overly light-hearted, but not something that is dark and brooding, Super Troopers is right about in the middle. A comedy first and foremost using what some might consider low brow comedy, it never really takes itself too seriously, even with what is going on.
While Super Troopers is a film that is meant to deliver laughs as much as it can, it doesn’t always hit the mark. Brian Cox works well in the role he has and gives a solid performance. He is the only one I can truly believe would be in his position during the film.
Super Troopers is a film I have enjoyed for a long time because of where I was in my life when I first saw it. While I do admit this film does have its flaws, it is a movie that I can come back to and laugh at. It is not a movie that is meant for younger viewers, as it has a lot of drug and alcohol use, adult language, and nudity, but I would recommend it to any adult who is fond of a raunchy comedy.