In 2009, the year started with renewed hope for a sequel to Super Troopers. Obviously that didn’t happen. To give it some perspective, that was already 8 years after Farva and friends originally punch-a-sized our faces for free. Now we’re 14 years in, and Broken Lizard has successfully rocked a crowdfunding campaign to make Super Troopers 2 a reality.
If you have high hopes for what they can make, you might also be worried that nothing can stand up to the movie in your mind. The one you’ve waited 14 years for. Have no fear.
Normally, a return to early glory after that many years would be cause for at least a little concern. Too many decades-later sequels have been either disappointments (The Godfather Part III) or blatantly hollow cash-grabs (Blues Brothers 2000), and that goes double for cult favorites that are fiercely loved. Still, there are several reasons to believe that Broken Lizard has both the passion and the skill to pull this off. If they do, fans will be greatly rewarded for their (to date) $2.5m faith.
First of all, there’s the commitment. Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Kevin Heffernan have been trying to make this movie since the success of their first mustache ride, and they’ve never stopped trying to make it. The reasons are complicated, but the delay boils down to legal issues with Fox, who seems to have made a Veronica Mars-esque deal with the team in order to distribute a fan-demanded film after the demand has been monetarily proven. None of that takes away from Broken Lizard’s 14-year commitment to suiting up again – a commitment that matches the fans’.
Secondly, there’s that pitch video.
It’s tonally perfect. The beats, the rhythm. It all feels simultaneously familiar and fresh. Exactly the combination you’d want for something like this.
In other franchise returns, there’s typically more than a hint of rusty careers seeking some of the old shine. That might not be an unfair accusation in this case; Broken Lizard has struggled and stumbled throughout the years to find the original magic, and their brand of comedy has always been deeply niche. Even their best non-Troopers outing (Beerfest, of course) wasn’t a box office hit. Which is insane, but c’est la vie. They’ve still made some fun movies, partially because their style is harmlessly juvenile and partially because they’re willing to jumble the standard formula of comedic group dynamics.
Whenever I’ve interviewed them, they’ve talked about crafting the roles on the page without any mind to who in the group would play them. They’ve even swapped roles relatively last minute. That may be why everyone was so startled when Heffernan showed up in Club Dread as the smooth, relaxed hero instead of the fat idiot. Broken Lizard wasn’t giving people who loved Super Troopers what they thought they wanted. Their experimentation has produced some shoddy combinations and some brilliant ones (like all experimentation), but none of their ensembles has sunk in so perfectly as the chemistry they found as Thorny, Rabbit, Mac, Foster and Farva.
Now they’re getting a chance to return to that dynamic, and they’ve proven with their pitch video that they still have the chemistry.
Is their a possibility that Super Troopers 2 won’t live up to the hope? Of course. There’s more to the original’s success than the comedy.
@scottmbeggs Super Troopers had a pretty solid mystery plot in the 1st film that separated itself from other comedies
— Sean Hackett (@shackett) March 25, 2015
It’ll be a matter of finding the right story and framework for the shenanigans, but in all the ways that can be apparent to us, Broken Lizard has displayed the potential to knock a sequel out of the park. Over the last decade they’ve proven both that they can move beyond their mustachioed characters and that they need to return to them.