I sort of like Broken Lizard as underdogs. I remember walking into the first screening of "Supertroopers" at Sundance, and no one in that theater knew what it was or who they were. The film absolutely killed as a result, blindsiding everyone there. By the time it hit theaters, enough advance buzz existed that there was a bit of a "prove it" attitude from fanboys, and I don't think they gave the film a fair shake. And then with "Club Dread" and "Beerfest," there's been a feeling that people were almost lying in wait for the films, determined to prove how much smarter they are as an audience than Broken Lizard are as filmmakers. And at Sundance this year, I heard many people in the press grumbling about how "The Slammin' Salmon" must be awful because it wasn't even being shown to the press.
I'm sure the guys who make up Broken Lizard would prefer not to be underdogs at this point. I remember being on set for "Beerfest," talking to Warner Bros. about signing BL to a long-term deal that would allow them to not only make their own films but to also produce for other rising comedy talent, and that optimism was very encouraging. It also seems to have evaporated after "Beerfest" actually came out. While Jay Chandrasekhar, who directed the first four features for the group, stayed busy with episodes of "Knight Rider," "Chuck," and "Lipstick Jungle," it was Kevin Heffernan who stepped up to direct this one, and the result has a different energy. It's also the best overall film they've made since "Super Troopers," and I hope it gets a wide enough release to be a significant hit for the guys. It's such an appealing, silly, easy-to-like film that it would be a shame if it wasn't given a chance to reach the widest audience possible.
[more after the jump]