In the world of movies about cops, there are quite a few comedies. Police Academy was the start of it and a few others followed suit, although none quite as silly as Super Troopers. Although it would be slander to designate this film as a valid depiction of the fine individuals who serve in law enforcement, you’d be hard pressed to find a more entertaining group. Ok, so Comedy Central’s Reno 911! series is a lot like this film, I’ll be honest (why wouldn’t I be? I love both), but there is something that is just so incredibly screwed up about Super Troopers that it has a certain edge of insanity that Reno 911! just can’t touch. I blame basic cable.
Always looking for action, five over-enthusiastic, but under-stimulated Vermont State Troopers raise hell on the highway, keeping motorists anxiously looking in their rear view mirrors. Between an ongoing feud with the local cops over whose you-know-what is bigger and the state government wanting to shut them down, the Super Troopers find themselves patrolling the boundaries of good taste as they hilariously and unwittingly skid towards solving the crime of their lives.
I’d heard for years from my brother how great Super Troopers was, but I seemed to put off watching it for some reason. I’d been a fan of Reno 911! and figured this film was just more of the same and when I finally did sit down to watch it, I was initially led to believe that was just a lot of officers acting stupid again, but I was quickly proven wrong. Ok that’s a lie, it is just a bunch of officers acting stupid, but the tone and pacing compared to Reno 911! was completely different. Not to mention Brian Cox as Captain O’Hagan was a hilarious role as the leader of them all and once his drunk scene came up in the film I was a giant fan of it.
Basically this is a stupid movie. It goes from scene to scene with one stupid thing after another, with the troopers daring one another to do one stupid thing after another. This doesn’t create for a real story (although the obvious undercurrent of it all is O’Hagan trying to keep his Troopers in line and eventually they come together to solve a real crime) for the most part, but that’s forgiven in a film that is a scant 100 minutes in length. What works for this film is the chemistry that the cast has with one another and never once does it feel forced or fake. It’s obvious that these men are either good friends or just great actors, but judging by their efforts after this film (Beerfest? No thanks) I’m wagering a guess that they haven’t had the best of luck in the area of getting a film up and running again.
When it comes down to it you have to enjoy a really stupid comedy now and then to really understand or enjoy what Super Troopers is made of. Considering it was made on a $1.2 million dollar budget, it’s quite remarkable how this film came together so well. I’m sure some will argue that it gets too stupid at times (or gross…I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about when you get to it), but that’s all part of its charm. If you can call it charm, at least.
Overall it’s stupid and lewd, but Super Troopers is a quotable classic. You may not bring it up as often in everyday life as some of the more popular comedies, but lines like “Desperation is a stinky cologne” will live on forever. Recommended.
What’s this? A Blu-ray re-release with actual new features? Huzzah! Fox has released Super Troopers in a single disc Elite Blu-ray case with inserts advertising their releases on the format as well as a notice to keep your firmware up-to-date. Disc art mimics the cover art and menus are simple and easy to navigate, although I do have a complaint about them, which stretches across most Fox releases. The special features are stuck inside this little scroll box area that takes up about 20% of the screen, while the rest of the screen real estate is spent on…well, not much. Seems like a complete waste of a 1080p image, but oh well. As a side note, the disc (as well as most recent Fox releases) won’t play on my PC, as it states that my firmware needs to be updated. Since PC’s use software to decode it, I’m not sure what the issue as I’ve updated both PowerDVD and WinDVD and neither will play the discs, due to the BD+ encryption variant. Very strange.
Super Troopers arrives in an AVC encoded 1.85:1 1080p video transfer with an average of 30mbps. While it’s not an absolutely breathtaking image (remember that $1.2 million dollar production figure I mentioned earlier?), it does look pretty decent and will satisfy most fans of the film. It’s not a huge advantage over the previously available DVD transfer, but if you plan on watching this on a 60” screen, I guess you’ll benefit. Also available here is a 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio track which, again, is a bit superfluous for this type of film, but at least Fox is making sure the video and audio aspects of their Blu-ray releases max out the available disc space (unlike Warner, who seems insistent on using DD5.1 tracks for a lot of new and catalog releases). Also included are Spanish and French DD5.1 tracks as well as English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean subtitles.
Extras here are the same as previous releases, aside from two new goodies. The first is a PiP Commentary with the cast and director/writers of the film, done in a reverse MST3K type of setup, where we see them facing us rather than the back of their heads. It’s a really great commentary with a few nice surprises, so fans should definitely give this one a listen. Also newly recorded (once again with all of them on the couch) is a Stuper Troopers: The Drinking Game, which will require a lot of alcohol.
Returning from the previous release is a pair of commentaries, Commentary with Director/Co-Writer/Acor Jay Crhandrasekhar and Co-Writer/Actor Erik Stolhanske and Commentary by Co-Writers/Actors Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemmie and Paul Soter, that are both highly entertaining and simultaneously informative. Next we have the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes (41:20) with optional commentary tracks, a quick Featurette (6:08), a Road Trip News Wrap (1:58) and a pair of Theatrical Trailers (3:44) for the film. All of the extras (aside from the Drinking Game) are in standard definition.
While the new commentary is nice, I don’t know if it’s worth upgrading to this set right away. Maybe wait till a price drop, although if you’re a huge fan of the film then it’s worth upgrading just for the bump in video and audio and bonus commentary. Either way you cut it, this comes Recommended at some point or another.
Super Troopers is now available on Blu-ray.