The comedy troupe Broken Lizard may not be Monty Python, but they’re just as amused by the sight of each other naked, and their delight in the absurd and juvenile is almost as fine-tuned.
“Super Troopers,” written, directed and performed by the five men of Broken Lizard, is an outrageously funny film about Vermont state troopers and their ongoing war with the local police department. There is a plot, and the film admirably resists the urge to be nothing more than a series of sketches, but heaven knows the story’s irrelevant. If you’re going to watch this, you’re going to watch it for the staunchly sophomoric humor and high jinks.
There is never any attempt to be satirical or to provide social commentary; this is a movie where state troopers engage in syrup-chugging contests (“What’s the matter, your mama didn’t teach you how to chug?” one of them taunts another) simply because it’s funny to watch state troopers engage in syrup-chugging contests. Ditto scenes involving whipped cream, a radar gun and a bear costume.
The leader of the pack is Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar, who also officially directed), a relatively smart man with a go-nowhere subplot about his girlfriend and son. He’s training a rookie, Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), with Mac (Steve Lemme) and Foster (Paul Soter) serving as the other companionship in a rustic part of the state. The belligerent and crude Farva (Kevin Heffernan) — think Stifler from “American Pie,” but dumber and meaner — is stuck working dispatch back at the station, punishment for a previous crime involving a school bus. (You’ll have to stay through the credits to see what happened, but it’s worth it.)
Their commander is John O’Hagan (Brian Cox), who loves his officers like sons and generally tolerates their shenanigans. (“Our shenanigans are cheeky and fun,” one of them explains, adding that someone else’s are “cruel and tragic, which makes them not shenanigans at all.”) They’re all at odds with the local cops, led by Chief Grady (Daniel von Bargen), which frequently leads to pranks and fistfights.
Most of the film’s humor stems from the fact that the troopers are not just childish and irresponsible, but gleefully so. They generally get the job done and arrest the right bad guys, but you’d never guess that was anywhere near one of their priorities.
The comedy is laden with profanity and frequently vulgar, sometimes in a sexual way. These guys are bright and creative, with just the right amount of 13-year-old boy left in them. Let your inner juvenile delinquent out for a while and you’ll find yourself giggling right along with them.
B+ (1 hr., 43 min.; )