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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Super Troopers
Super Troopers
Fox // R // August 6, 2002
List Price: $26.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 20, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"Super Troopers" has a plot that sounds like it could have potential to be very funny, but manages to get enough laughs to fill a couple of shorts - at 101 minutes, the film occasionally starts to drag out. The film mostly stars members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, who play Vermont state troopers. As one might expect, there's not an enormous amount of crime in Vermont and the troopers find themselves in competition with the local police force. The captain of the troopers (Brian Cox) wants his force to bust more speeders, write more tickets and expose what is possibly a drug-smuggling operation going on.

There's really not a great deal more to the plot than that - "Super Troopers" moves from episode to episode, as the cops find the best way to pass the day is to mess with some passing motorists. There are times when "Troopers" can't decide whether it wants to put the jokes or the rather thin story first - given the fact that there are some slow passages, the former probably would have been a better idea. As for the laughs, I've rarely seen a movie offer jokes with such a widely varying rate of success - I often went from laughing to light amusement to cringing, occasionally all within a matter of minutes. For every few jokes that went over well, I felt there was one that fell flat.

"Super Troopers" is certainly aided by the fact that the Broken Lizard team (Jay Chandrasekhar (director), Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske) have obviously built decent chemistry after working together for several years. Supporting performances by Brian Cox - who has to play relatively serious against the comedy around him - and Marisa Coughlan, are both good. The low-budget comedy doesn't have much of a visual style, but the rough appearance manages to add to the silliness. Overall, a fun idea for a movie that manages several great (and a few not-so-great) moments.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Super Troopers" is presented by Fox in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is a fairly nice offering from the studio; while it does suffer noticably from a couple of problems, there are some pretty solid stretches where the film looks superb. Sharpness and detail are consistently quite good, aside from a few darker scenes that appeared slightly murky.

The main problem that I noticed with the image quality was edge enhancement - a mild amount was seen in several scenes, causing a bit of distraction. Some minor print flaws were noticed early in the film, as a scene or two showed some little specks. On a positive note, no pixelation or other faults were seen.

The film offered a fairly bright and lively color palette, which looked well-rendered on this presentation, with nice saturation and no smearing. Overall, a pretty nice transfer, with the exception of a few problems.

SOUND: "Super Troopers" is presented by Fox in Dolby Digital 5.1. Although the sound mix isn't too much above what I'd expect in a comedy presentation, there are some enjoyable aspects to the film's audio. The enjoyable rock soundtrack sounds especially crisp and detailed, even occasionally reinforced nicely by the surrounds. The surrounds don't get much to do otherwise, though, aside from a few minor sound effects. Audio quality remained fine, as the dialogue came through clearly.

MENUS: Funny animated main menu involving the characters and some decent, non-animated sub menus.

EXTRAS:

Commentaries: The main supplement is a pair of commentary tracks from Broken Lizard members Jay Chandrasekhar (director), Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske. The group is broken up into two parts for these tracks and generally provide a fine (if sometimes repetitive) overview of the making of the film. Both commentaries are dryly funny and occasionally more entertaining then the movie. While both have their slow points - I can't imagine that there's that much to discuss about this film, both tracks are still worthwhile listening.

Outtakes/Extended Scenes: This section starts off with a funny outtake reel and goes into four additional chunks that offer extended moments from the film. Commentary from the same two groups of Lizard members that offered commentary for the film itself return again for these sequences. Hit "more" and you'll find two more pages that offer a total of 10 additional sequences.

Also: Trailers for "Super Troopers" and "Kung Pow", as well as a brief "making of" featurette.

Final Thoughts: A occasionally amusing middle-of-nowhere update of "Police Academy", "Super Troopers" will probably be best as a rental. Fans of the film might want to check out a purchase of Fox's fine DVD, which offers good audio/video and several nice supplements.
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