A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
"Super Troopers" plays like it was directed as a do-it-yourself project, following instructions that omitted a few steps, and yet the movie has an undeniable charm. Imagine a group of Vermont state troopers treating their job like an opportunity to stage real-life "Candid Camera" situations. Now imagine that all of the troopers have ambitions to be stand-up comics. And that they were inspired to get into the force by watching "Police Academy" movies. But that they are basically good guys. That kind of describes it.
The movie is set in Spurbury, Vt., where there isn't enough crime to go around. That causes a bitter rivalry between the state troopers, led by Capt. O'Hagan (Brian Cox), and the city police, led by Chief Grady (Daniel von Bargen). When a dead body turns up in a Winnebago and drug smuggling seems to be involved, the two forces compete for clues, arrests and especially for funds. The state police post, indeed, has been threatened with a complete shutdown by the budget-minded governor (Lynda Carter).
Perhaps because these may be the last weeks they can spend working together, or perhaps simply because they're fundamentally goofy, the troopers pass their days blowing the minds of people they stop on the highway.
Trooper: "Do you know how fast you were going?" Terrified kid whose friends are stoned: "Sixty-five?" Trooper: "Sixty-three." Other nice touches include (A) using the loudspeaker to instruct a driver to pull over after he has already pulled over, and (B) casually saying "meow" in the middle of a conversation with a curbed driver. Capt. O'Hagan is understandably distressed at the bizarre behavior of his men, and worried about the possible closing of the post. A drug bust would save the day, but his men seem fairly unfocused as they look into a promising case. "Are you suggesting," the local chief asks the troopers, "that a cartoon monkey is bringing drugs into our town?" Well, no, but it's a long story.