"Trooper" A Mystery Not Worth Solving Review

Tommy (Joey Roberts) has just moved to a new town with no friends and only a promise that when he grows up he will inherit his dad's newspaper. On the same day he moves to town, Mr. Mayor (Harry Cason) makes cut-backs to the police department and forces Sheriff John (Matt Clendenin) to get rid of their trusty bloodhound Trooper. Rather than take Trooper to the pound, John gives Trooper to Tommy as a new pet, and coincidentally, on that same day Tommy also learns about a big mystery in the town involving a golden key. Together, Tommy and Trooper work to find the golden key and save their town from the greedy mayor and his oil drilling schemes.

When I watch a movie, whether it be a Civil War drama or a stoner comedy in space, there has to be a world within the film firmly established with rules, causes, and effects. I can handle movies with irritating talking dogs and mustache-twirling villains so long as it makes sense for there to be irritating talking dogs and mustache-twirling villains. There was never a point during Trooper and the Legend of the Golden Key where I could suspend my disbelief, and it had nothing to do with the ridiculous plot or the talking animals. It was impossible for me to buy into it because not a single human character in the movie behaves anything like any human being ever in existence, and to make things worse, their actions are pointlessly narrated by bloodhound with a Southern drawl. “That's the mayor. He smells like hair dye...that's the town manager. She smells like cell phones.” Really? She smells like cell phones?

What makes Trooper borderline insulting to me, though, is that they try to explain away these characters and their idiotic actions as being small-town and folksy. I grew up in the Midwest. I have family and friends that live in towns where you can walk from one end to the other without even getting winded. Living in a small town does not mean that you are simple-minded.

I can only recommend Trooper and the Legend of the Golden Key as a fun bad movie to heckle with your friends Mystery Science Theater 3000-style. At one point, animal control shows up in a white van with a sign reading “Animal Control” scotch-taped to the side, and in an exaggerated sign of aggression, the villains pop a young child's balloon and exclaim, “Take note! Children...Balloons...Jail!” Trooper is good for a few unintentional laughs, but there are so many better clean family movies that don't treat their audience and small-town Americans like total morons.

On one last stray note, there is a small dog on the DVD cover that is supposed to be a stand-in for Trooper's side-kick in the movie, except the dog photoshopped onto the cover is not even the same breed as the dog in the movie. The production team on Trooper was so lazy that they couldn't be bothered to photoshop the right breed of dog on the cover of the DVD. Good grief.

"Trooper and the Legend of the Golden Key" is on sale October 16, 2012 and is not rated. Directed by John Rhode. Written by Harry Cason, Stephen Beck. Starring Harry Cason, Joey Roberts, Matt Clendenin.

Rachel Kolb • Staff Writer

I love movies, writing, and breaking into song in public. You can follow me on Twitter @rachelekolb or check out more of my work at http://rachelekolb.wordpress.com.


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