TV Party Tonight! #49

TV Party Tonight! #49

Tuesday, 05 June 2018

Super Troopers

Comic-Con 2015 [Blu-ray]


I don’t think anyone thought they’d be saying this, but Super Troopers has aged like a fine wine. And how could anyone have predicted it? This movie suffers from some obvious setbacks, like being worshipped by the fraternity community, relying too often on pot humor, and maybe not the best acting. It seems like the most vocal fans of Super Troopers are the ones that won’t stop quoting the worst lines of the film to each other. And the fact that, at the surface, this movie is about authority figures using their power irresponsibly is maybe not the most endearing feature.

But in spite of all this, years later, there is a deep-felt appreciation for what’s going on in this movie. First of all, it’s undeniably an underdog movie, written, acted, and directed by the Broken Lizard troupe. So, Super Troopers doesn’t rely on big-name actors, or all-star cameos to cheaply trigger our nostalgia neurons. Surprisingly, few of these actors have gone onto “famous statuses” like Wet Hot American Summer’s cast. Instead, this movie relies on its script and jokes for its appeal. That’s commendable.

Second, and this will become obvious to anyone listening to the audio commentary tracks, the cast and crew are very honest about the limitations and sacrifices they had to make for this movie, how corners had to be cut, and how they wished they could redo certain parts of the movie. Super Troopers is very much an imperfect product and the casts humility in admitting this is nothing if not refreshing. That’s classy.

Third, I’m blown away at how well these jokes land more than 25 years later. They do so on a visceral level, triggering a primitive nerve in our cerebellum. The highway gags might not have aged well, but the subtleties of Foster courting Ursula, or Farve’s inferiority complex, or O’Hagan and Grady trading verbal blows are more nuanced and smart than the audience would like to give it credit. That’s smart.

This Comicon 2015 blu ray edition of the movie is a winner all the way. It’s loaded with features, behind the scenes footage, outtakes, multiple informative and fun commentary tracks, and even the artwork resembles a Criterion Collection release.

Like Roger Ebert said, Super Troopers feels patched together but it’s the kind of movie that wants you to like it. Spend enough time with it, and you just might fall in love.

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