A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Super Troopers is a 2002 comedy in which misfit state troopers must bust a drug smuggling ring to avoid losing their jobs due to budget cuts and their own incompetence. There's nonstop iffy humor (in terms of both content and, well, actual humor). One officer is shown on the side of the road masturbating to a picture of a woman on a billboard. Another officer runs interference and lures rival cops by dressing like a hunter and pretending to have sex with a bear. An attractive German couple offer sexual favors to get out of a speeding ticket; the offer is accepted. A white character talks in the parodic voice of an African American man. There are jokes referencing incest, blow-up sex dolls, and autoerotic asphyxiation, as well as nonstop profanity, including "f--k" and variations and some nudity, both male and female. Teenagers smoke a lot of pot and take psychedelic mushrooms; in order to avoid getting arrested when they are pulled over, one of the teens eats a bag of mushrooms and two bags of pot. Underage drinking is featured. The officers are extremely drunk for the last third of the movie. In terms of violence, a woman is found dead in an RV with a dog collar around her neck lying face down in a food bowl. Fistfights occur between rival cops. The movie's humor is deliberately stupid, gross, and raunchy.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
SUPER TROOPERS feels like the kind of movie five college buddies who didn't want to go to law school would dream up after a week-long marathon of smoking dope and watching John Landis movies. In fact, that's pretty much how it came about. Five recent Colgate graduates who created a comedy group called Broken Lizard wrote and star in it and one of them directed it. The result is a sort of Animal House crossed with Cheech and Chong with a touch of the '70s Erik Estrada television show CHiPs. It's a slob comedy story of the rivalry between a group of Vermont highway patrolmen and the local police. It escalates from taunts and practical jokes to a struggle over turf and then to a struggle for survival. The members of Broken Lizard play the troopers, whose idea of "cheeky" hijinks includes making bets about how many times one of them can use the word "meow" while giving a motorist a speeding ticket, or donning a hippie wig and racing the other troupers to the Canadian border. In classic college fashion, drugs, alcohol, humiliation, and sex provide most of the subjects for humor.
Is it any good?
This is in the middle range for bad-taste comedies, in terms of both bad taste and comedy. There are a lot of gross jokes that are cheerfully politically incorrect but not as offensive as some of what is out there. They are not as stupid as some of what we've seen in recent movies, but they are not terrifically funny, either. Super Troopers falls somewhere between American Pie and Tom Green.
No one in Broken Lizard has what anyone might deem star quality -- in those uniforms, they look more like they are auditioning for a local franchise for the Village People than like anyone who might know how to hold a radar gun on a speeding 18-wheeler. But director Jay Chandrasekhar and one or two of the others clearly have fun on screen and it occasionally reaches the audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the humor in Super Troopers. Is it funny to see authority figures behaving like total fools? Why or why not?
What other movies can you think of that make fun of authority figures?
Were there any moments when the humor seemed too extreme? If so, which moments, and why?
- In theaters: February 15, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: August 6, 2002
- Cast: Erik Stolhanske, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme
- Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, sexual content and drug use
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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