as: Captain John O’Hagen
Though the flick was not a huge success at the box office, Super Troopers went on to slowly but steadily become a breakout hit on DVD, ultimately securing its place in the cult classic hall of fame. Thanks to a recent, highly successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the writers and actors of the Broken Lizard gang are currently working on a sequel far too long in the making.
Speaking of Broken Lizard: those five guys are all absolutely, 100 percent irreplaceable in this movie. Though Brian Cox gives a great performance as Capt. O’Hagen, we have to shoehorn Tom Wopat in here somewhere, and there aren’t any other major characters, so Cox will have to go. Sorry.
I know we mention the ages of and/or age difference between the actor in question and Wopat a lot in these write-ups, but stay with me on this one. Though he seems much older, and did even when Super Troopers was first released 14 years ago, Brian Cox is only five years older than Tom Wopat. Wopat would’ve been 48-49 when the movie was made, so the O’Hagen character could’ve been rewritten to play a bit younger.
Instead of the gruff, father figure-type that the character was originally, we envision Wopat’s Capt. O’Hagen as more of an older brother to the state troopers under his command. Not necessarily a “cool” older brother; maybe more like a “thinks he’s cool” older brother.
Instead of bemoaning the troopers’ shenanigans, Wopat O’Hagen would join in every chance he got, though he would more often than not offer unintentionally-terrible contributions.
In a movie full memorable scenes, one of the more memorable is the “maple syrup chugging scene.” The troopers are at a diner enjoying breakfast when, for whatever reason, a challenge breaks out to see who can down an entire bottle of syrup—an entire bottle!—the fastest. Originally, the Captain was not present at the syrup chugging contest. In our version, Wopat O’Hagen initiates it.
“Come on, boys,” O’Hagen says, distributing full syrup bottles to his charges. “Winner gets Monday off.”
After a quick “ready set go,” the six Vermont State Troopers upend their bottles and start chugging the sticky, viscous goo. O’Hagen pulls ahead to an early lead. He raises a fist in pre-triumph, then immediately starts to choke on the syrup. He struggles through a few more pulls, but ultimately loses it and has to drop his bottle. Sputtering and coughing violently, he sprays the other troopers with regurgitated syrup.
Only two of his comrades are able to continue, the others being too grossed out to carry on. “What the hell, Cap?” Farva (Kevin Heffernan) bellows, wiping syrup out of his eyes. “I had that one.”
“Yeah right, Farva,” O’Hagen replies with a laugh, flicking syrup off his fingertips in Farva’s direction. “Ramathorn always wins. Come on, man!”
As in the original version, and as Wopat O’Hagen predicted, Ramathorn (Jay Chandrasekhar) does win.