The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday September 25th

Bad Cops Fail to Serve In 'Super Troopers'

Super Troopers

If "Super Troopers" presents the reality of law enforcement, we should all stay at home, lock our doors and prepare for the worst.

"Super Troopers" details a pointless conflict between a band of Vermont highway cops and an uptight group of pushy city cops. The plot centers on the highway cops and their attempts to save their floundering station and essentially worthless jobs.

These unlikely heroes are played by Broken Lizard, a comedy troupe and group of friends who wrote and shot the film. Director Jay Chandrasekhar and his buddies don uniforms, but any emulation of true officers stops there.

The film takes a sort of a good-cop versus bad-cop stance, but the bad-cop figures are bullies who seem to be doing everything right. Meanwhile, the "good cops" are busy trying to revive Cheech and Chong by partaking of the fruits of their haplessly lucky drug busts.

In their focus on animal comedy, the "Super Troopers" break all of the rules and laugh in the face of law enforcement. Instead of ambitious underlings, the stars of this sophomoric power fantasy are already in everyday positions of authority: these pseudo-police steal stolen cars from their own garage, go for crazily dangerous midnight joy rides, beat up fast-food employees and brawl at murder scenes.

All of this could be forgivable for a film of the crude "American Pie" genre if it just weren't so over the top. Absurd is the only word to describe cops who pull cars over only to indulge in their sexual fantasies with the very willing occupants. And it's a bit much to see a man in uniform use the seclusion of the front seats of his squad car for self-indulgence.

Even so, these juvenile antics could be redeemed by dialogue, but the film gives a wide breadth to any sort of witty repartee. "Super Troopers" features a few barely pseudo-clever lines amid the potty-humor antics. After a mildly promising albeit ridiculous beginning, the film sadly becomes less and less funny.

If the crass actions and disappointing dialogue are not enough to turn the viewer's stomach, there's always the requisite nude scene. Subjected to an unnecessary frontal shot of Officer Favra, played by Kevin Heffernan, one realizes why we weren't subjected to Jason Bigg's package in "American Pie."

"Super Troopers" includes nearly every element of the mindless teen comedy, but the film takes them too far. With a chance to distort and upheave the trappings of authority, "Super Troopers" fails to make a statement, opting instead to place Beavis and Butthead clones in trooper raiment.

Luckily, it doesn't seem as though the 'Super Troopers' have any strong base in reality, so there's no real reason to give up all hope quite yet. But, in comparison to watching this film, staying home sounds like an excellent option.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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