For a re­viewof “Super Troop­ers 2,”

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In the se­quel “Super Troop­ers 2,” a high­way pa­trol­man ( Kevin Hef­fer­nan) shoots and kills a bald ea­gle in­ten­tion­ally.

That’s the level of satire in a low­brow comedy so ir­rev­er­ent it could al­most be con­sid­ered a sub­ver­sive indictment of law en­force­ment, not to men­tion low­brow hu­mor. Al­most, that is, if it were re­motely funny.

The­movie re­unites most of the cast of the 2001 hit “Super Troop­ers,” in­clud­ing di­rec­tor Jay Chan­drasekhar (“The Dukes of Haz­zard”), who cowrote the film with fel­low mem­bers of the comedy troupe Bro­ken Lizard, who play Ver­mont state troop­ers. Brian Cox re­turns as their griz­zled cap­tain, as does TV’s Won­derWo­man Lynda Carter, repris­ing her role as the gov­er­nor of Ver­mont.

The fruit of this re­union is a raunchier ver­sion of the orig­i­nal, one that re­hashes much of the first film’s silly stoner aes­thetic, in­clud­ing locker- room­pranks, pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with male gen­i­talia and a drug- smug­gling sub­plot that, pre­dictably, gives the troop­ers a chance to sam­ple con­tra­band.

The fun­ni­est bit is a re­cur­ring joke in­volv­ing a fe­male hor­mone sup­ple­ment called Flova Sco­tia. ( I know, I know, but it’s fun­nier than a dead ea­gle.) Rob Lowe ap­pears in a cheeky cameo as the mayor of a small Cana­dian town, his re­gional ac­cent not nearly as cliche as those at­tempted by other cast­mem­bers.

While­many­movie se­quels de­pict char­ac­ters who have ac­tu­ally grown over time — “Be­fore Mid­night,” “The Force Awak­ens” and “T2 Trainspot­ting” come to mind — this one is stuck in per­ma­nent ado­les­cence.

“Super Troop­ers 2,” a Fox Search­light re­lease, is rated R for crude sex­ual ma­te­rial and coarse lan­guage through­out, drug hu­mor and some graphic nu­dity. Run­ning time: 100 min­utes.  ½


It’s fairly com­mon for nonfic­tion ar­ti­cles to be adapted for the screen, par­tic­u­larly when they de­tail events of ex­tremedar­ing or hero­ism.

But“Ko­dachrome,” adapted by Jonathan Trop­per, di­rected by Mark Raso, takes for its source ma­te­rial a short, poignant 2010 pro­file by A. G. Sulzberger in the NewYork Times about the peo­ple flock­ing from around the world to de­velop their Ko­dachrome film at the last re­main­ing pro­ces­sor, Dwayne’s Photo in Kan­sas, be­fore they shut down.

Around this premise, rich with pos­si­bil­ity for plumb­ing themes of mem­ory, nos­tal­gia, art and fam­ily, is looped a very stan­dard, color- by- num­bers road movie, fea­tur­ing a son, Mark ( Ja­son Sudeikis), and his es­tranged, dy­ing fa­ther, Ben( EdHar­ris), ona road trip from New York to Kan­sas to process the fi­nal few rolls of film be­fore the shop closes, and be­fore Ben dies of can­cer. Along for the ride is Ben’s comely nurse, Zoe ( El­iz­a­beth Olsen), to ad­min­is­ter his shots and pro­vide some flir­ta­tious in­trigue forMark.

Ben is a dif­fi­cult ge­nius, a sto­ried, leg­endary pho­tog­ra­pher, brusque and tough. In his di­min­ished state he’s all prickly ex­te­rior, de­fen­sive and bel­liger­ent. Mark, a for­mer mu­si­cian and strug­gling A& R man, is try­ing to get his ca­reer back on track. He only re­sent­fully agrees to drive his fa­ther to Kan­sas with the prom­ise of a meet­ing with a lu­cra­tive act in Chicago.

“Ko­dachrome” hits ev­ery beat you might ex­pect from a film of this for­mula, and right when you ex­pect it, too. They roll into town to visit some fam­i­ly­mem­bers ( Bruce Green­wood andWendyCrew­son) and run right into un­re­solved is­sues fromtheir past. Mark and Zooey have their in­evitable te­quila- fueled romp ( set to Live’s “Light­ning Crashes,” no less), and things fall apart, and fall to­gether, right on cue.

The jour­ney is the struc­ture upon which Topper hangs some perti­nent con­ver­sa­tions about art, mu­sic, what makes a ca­reer­worth re­mem­ber­ing and the na­ture of film and pho­tog­ra­phy as it re­lates to life and mem­ory. Ben is strictly ana­log, as he de­clares. HereveresKo­dachrome, “pro­ject­ing with light,” and looks down on what he deems “data” and “elec­tronic dust.” It’s a rather ironic po­si­tion that he takes, con­sid­er­ing that the film is pre­mier­ing in the­aters and on dig­i­tal plat­form Net­flix si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Al­though “Ko­dachrome” yearns to achieve some sense of poignancy and mean­ing, its sto­ry­telling and char­ac­ters are so rote and pre­dictable that it never takes hold. Sudeikis is sad­dled with play­ing the tired char­ac­ter archetype of the priv­i­leged, yet for some rea­son melan­cholic white man who gets away with be­ing a creep and jerk for way too long.

It’s a shame that the film­mak­ers chose to adapt the ar­ti­cle with such a stereo­typ­i­cal story when the ar­ti­cle it­self is rife with fresh pos­si­bil­i­ties — a rail­road worker de­vel­op­ing 1,500 rolls, or an artist from Lon­don who flew to Kan­sas to process and shoot her last rolls of film.

“Ko­dachrome,” a Net­flix re­lease, is not rated. Run­ning time: 100 min­utes.  ½

‘ I Feel Pretty’

“I Feel Pretty” suf­fers from a fa­tal flaw: its premise. Built around the no­tion that there’s some­thing in­her­ently hi­lar­i­ous — even crazy — about a woman not su­per­mod­elthin or gorgeous be­hav­ing with the con­fi­dence of one who is, the comedy treats its star, Amy Schumer, as if she were Chris Far­ley in the “Satur­day Night Live” skit “Chip­pen­dalesAu­di­tion.”

In that clas­sic sketch from 1990, the late ac­tor— nearly 300 sloppy pounds of him— does a sexy strip­tease next to a ner­vous, in­se­cure and very buff Pa­trick Swayze. It’s funny, be­cause Far­ley, with­out his shirt on, and his blub­ber set in mo­tion to Lover­boy’s “Work­ing for the­Week­end,” is kind of, well, ridicu­lous.

But Schumer, al­though zaftig, is no Chris Far­ley.

Schumer plays Re­nee, an ordinary woman who wakes up­froma head in­jury with the self- es­teem of Bey­oncé. In one scene, her char­ac­ter dares to en­ter a board­walk- bar bikini con­test. It’s meant to pro­duce gales of laugh­ter but de­liv­ers mostly groans in­stead. In that set piece, Re­nee loses the con­test but cap­tures the heart of her beau, Ethan ( Rory Scovel), with her verve. In­ner beauty, the film seems to be say­ing, is more im­por­tant than rock­hard­abs.

Yet it en­cap­su­lates much of what is wrong with this comic mis­fire. “I Feel Pretty” tries to de­liver a mes­sage of empowerment but it ends up push­ing its per­ni­cious op­po­site: If you don’t look like Emily Rata­jkowski, the film says, a rail- thin model and ac­tress who has a small role in the film, you’re un­wor­thy of at­ten­tion and love.

“I Feel Pretty” wants to have its cake and eat it too— to laugh at women be­cause of how they look, while scold­ing us for do­ing so.

There are other prob­lems as well. Co- writ­ten and codi­rected by Abby Kohn and Marc Sil­ver­stein ( the writ­ers of “Never Been Kissed,” mak­ing their di­rec­to­rial de­but), “I Feel Pretty” pre­sumes that con­ven­tion­ally at­trac­tive women are stuck- up jerks. When Re­nee asks a pretty woman on the street where she got her dress, and learns that it’s from Tar­get, Re­nee whis­pers, con­spir­a­to­ri­ally, “Aren’t girls like us so lucky that we can shop any­where and still look fly as hell?”

That Tar­get ref­er­ence — along with scenes that namecheck SoulCy­cle and Zumba and a plot that cen­ters on Re­nee’s em­ployer, a high- end cos­met­ics com­pany pre­par­ing to en­ter the mass- mar­ket makeup busi­ness— lend the film not verisimil­i­tude, but a sickly ve­neer of con­sumerism and brand­wor­ship.

Later, when Re­nee and Ethan are hav­ing sex and he catches her look­ing at her­self in the mir­ror, he says— in­con­gru­ously, given his own un­pre­ten­tious­ness — “That is so hot.” It’s a bit of a mixed mes­sage to sug­gest that su­per­fi­cial self- re­gard is both de­sir­able and, later in the film, dur­ing Re­nee’s in­evitable speechi­fy­ing aboutin­ner­beauty, de­plorable.

But all of this would be moot if “I Feel Pretty” man­aged to be even re­motely funny. Schumer, so in­ci­sive and so woke in early sea­sons of her Comedy Cen­tral se­ries “In­side AmySchumer,” whichshe­cre­ated and which won­mul­ti­ple Em­mys, seems to have got­ten lazy. Beauty isn’t al­ways ef­fort­less, it seems, but comedy is re­ally, re­al­ly­hard.

“I Feel Pretty,” a STX re­lease, is rated PG- 13 for sex­ual ma­te­rial, some par­tial nu­dity and strong lan­guage. Run­ning time: 110min­utes. 


Ed Har­ris, left, and Ja­son Sudeikis star the Net­flix film “Ko­dachrome.”

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