Quasimodo Meets Super Troopers In This Wild Period Piece

Apr 20, 2023

The gang from Super Troopers is back and as raunchy as ever in their newest comedy, Quasi. Director, co-star, and co-writer Kevin Heffernan plays multiple roles on and off camera and does so effectively. This medieval farce sports all the faces fans love and plenty of contemporary jokes for newcomers. The addition of Agents of SH.I.E.L.D.’s Adrianne Palicki is very welcome, and she seamlessly fits into the long-time comedy troupe, Broken Lizard. The jokes in Quasi are solid, but can sometimes be relentless in their need to bring the Super Troopers dialogue to medieval times. While Quasi isn’t the most amazing comedy, the fantastic cast is enough to maintain viewers’ enjoyment in an otherwise entertaining film.

In medieval France, Quasimodo (Steve Lemme) and his pal Duchamp (Kevin Heffernan) are everyday folks who just want to torture in peace. Their narcissistic king (Jay Chandrasekhar) holds a lottery to see who will get the honor of his company. Duchamp has dozens of tickets and feels bad for Quasi and his hunched back, so he gives him a ticket. Miraculously, Quasi wins the lottery and is granted an audience with the king and queen (Palicki), but to his shock, the king asks him to kill the pope (Paul Soter). Quasi is ready to fulfill his king’s wishes before the pope asks Quasi to kill the king. Caught in the middle of two assassination plots it’s up to Quasi, Duchamp, and the queen to find a way out of this impossible situation.

Films like Your Highness have attempted to bring 21st century language to stoner comedy in medieval times to no avail. Bridging that gap is no small leap and Quasi is not a perfect movie by any stretch. But Broken Lizard does a good job of creating an environment where comedy can thrive, regardless of the time period. The main cast is perfect and the extras shine in every scene. The only bit of inconsistency lies in both the comedy and the accents. Though the film is funny, the actors are constantly switching between English, American, and French accents throughout the entire film. As a result, the story and comedy are a little wonky. But with a team like Broken Lizard, all of that is easily overlooked if one is a fan of their previous work.

Every member of Broken Lizard plays two characters in Quasi. This is not the first time they employed this trick — whether it is a creative or budgetary choice, it is still a funny one. And the implementation in Quasimodo makes a lot of logistical sense. For instance, Lemme plays the lead and has the most screen time as Quasi, so his second character is the King’s Jester who is only in three scenes. Whereas Soter plays two characters with almost identical screen time. The lack of ego in Broken Lizard is always great to see and is one of the many ingredients that makes their special sauce.

Quasi’s main flaw is the over-the-top plot. Obviously, the whole concept is a gag, but within that gag, there are some parts that don’t work as well. Almost every death scene is followed by another death, or the characters are threatening or discussing killing another person. The king and the pope are committing the same crime, but within that, they practically mirror each other in terms of how they operate. It all adds up in the end, but the repetition is disappointing for a film that is only a little over an hour and a half long.

Fans of Beerfest will definitely get a kick out of Quasi and those in search of a mindless laugh will enjoy it as well. In a world of auteur dramedies, it is nice to just kick back with the gang and let them run loose. The film is far from perfect, but also does not attempt to be. Accents aside, the jokes are solid and don’t require a great plot to land. Quasi won’t blow anyone away, but it has its moments.

Quasi is available to streaming on Hulu beginning April 20. The film is 99 minutes long and rated R for language, some crude/sexual content, and violence.

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