Lazer Team is the story of a dimwitted group of ne’er-do-wells that stumble into the position of defenders of humanity — imagine the burnouts from Pineapple Express or the nerds from Superbad inheriting superpowers, and you’re on the right track. The brainchild of the Rooster Teeth crew, Lazer Team features all the raunchy humor and cinematic hi-jinks that have endeared the brand to its wildly devoted fans over the past decade.
In Lazer Team, the American military intercepts an extra-terrestrial signal that warns them of an impending alien threat. So that humanity may stand a fighting chance, a benign alien race sends a ship carrying a suit of power to earth that provides the strength needed to defeat the invaders. After a night of debauchery brings together four schmucks — a cop who gets no respect (Burnie Burns), a former jock (Colton Dunn), a horny high-schooler (Michael Jones), and the town idiot (Gavin Free) — the group accidentally intercept the spaceship delivering the suit of power and unintentionally imbue themselves with its abilities. With each man permanently attached to a separate piece of the suit of power, the group only have a couple of days to hone their skills and learn to work as a team in order to prevent the end of civilization.
First off, bravo to the Rooster Teeth team. Rooster Teeth took what is by Hollywood standards a microscopic budget and created an enjoyable sci-fi action flick. No one in their position could make a movie like Lazer Team ten years ago; CGI was too expensive for micro-budget films, the visual effects rendering process was too time-consuming, and the infrastructure for crowdfunding campaigns wasn’t in place to finance a project as ambitious as this. Having the tools available to accrue financial backing and create a modestly budgeted CGI-packed movie is no guarantee of an entertaining film, but the Rooster Teeth team succeeds on that front as well.
Lazer Team is an enjoyable film with one huge caveat: this movie has a very specific audience. It features the sort of masturbatory humor that the Comic-Con crowd feasts on, and fan’s of Red vs. Blue will be in seventh heaven, while sci-fi fans and those with a decent grasp of pop culture will also find much to like. Those who sit too far outside of the film’s target demographic will likely shake their head in disapproval, brandishing their fist in the air and exclaiming, “kids these days.”
Lazer Team moves along at a bustling pace, and the film’s 90-minute running time whizzes right by. The movie constantly alternates between comedic scenes and actions sequences, changing things up often enough that it never feels like its dragging. While the film revels in its raunchy humor, there is enough variety to the jokes that the comedic bits don’t grow stale, and while the action scenes don’t rise above B-movie caliber, (despite the film’s relatively modest budget), there are several thrilling set pieces that all build towards a satisfying climactic battle.
Rooster Teeth fans waited a long time for Lazer Team, and fortunately this movie doesn’t disappoint, playing out like a love letter to their devoted following. Anyone with only a passing interest in video games, comic books, and sci-fi may want to sit this one out, though anyone with an appreciation for filmmaking should keenly observe how Rooster Teeth produced an effects-laden film on a tiny budget. Packed with raunchy jokes, fun action sequences, and an endearing team of underdogs, Lazer Team is an enjoyable homage to 80’s cinema created for today’s generation.
- Victor Stiff