Anime Reporter delves into the world of live-action American movies to review Lazer Team, the sci-fi comedy coming out on DVD courtesy of Rooster Teeth.
When it’s mentioned that the team behind this crowd-funded film are most well known for their Youtube work, this might leave viewers with somewhat lower expectations of the quality of this film. While I don’t personally feel that crowdfunding or the host of terrible films starting on Youtube should determine someone’s opinion of a movie they haven’t seen yet, those feelings might be useful and accurate in this instance. Let’s find out.
Lazer Team tells the story of an elite soldier trained his whole life to be worthy of an alien suit which would allow him to take on the greatest alien threat the world has ever faced. Well, actually it doesn’t, but it does tell the story of four jerks who stumble upon and become fused to the four seperate pieces of this alien suit and so become humanity’s last hope at the eleventh hour. There’s the helmet which boosts the user’s intelligence and has a load of high-tech super-computer features, the boots which boost agility and speed, the arm-mounted laser gun and the laser-shield glove.
Let’s get this out of the way. The humour here is pretty crass and not altogether original. No, really, let’s try this out. When I tell you that the helmet armour has an X-ray function, what do you imagine the bumbling idiot who wears it uses it for. That’s right. Boobs. And what happens immediately after he uses it? That’s right, his eyeline is interrupted by dudes. Classic…
and by classic I mean really outdated lowest common denominator humour. It’s 80‘s frat humour for most of the way, which I wouldn’t have aproblem with, if it was given any level of innovation or a hint that it was being self-referential. It’s largely just ‘Bros blowing shitting up and running away from the narks’. Now, I’m not going to say it’s the worst thing out there, there are a couple of solid one-liners in there. I’ll confess to getting a laugh out of a US general summing up the alien threat as something along the lines of ‘This poses an untold threat to the world, and, more importantly, the nation.’ Just don’t expect to be rolling in the aisles, assuming that wherever you watch DVDs has aisles. Really, as long as you go into this expecting some low-grade laughs and an outdated concept of what an adventure movie is, there’s no reason not to enjoy it.
The cast is fine, pretty solid overall. Cameos aren’t as heavy handed as they could have been, (I don’t care. I hated that film and I welcome the opportunity to re-link to it to emphasise how much I still think it’s terrible), and probably the most consistent complaint I had while watching is that the guy wearing the super-speed boots could not convince me that he knew what running is supposed to look like at normal speed, let alone with the dials turned up to 11. I’m not saying that there isn’t an abundance of overacting. There is. But it’s appropriate overacting. It’s overacting that’s enjoying itself and knows exactly what type of film it’s in.
If there’s anything to be said about the visuals it’s that sometimes they’re on point and sometimes they’re quite far away from it. It’s a shame that, towards the end, the creators felt it was absolutely necessary to render hundreds of hologram aliens at once because they look shoddy as hell and they’re not so necessary to the plot that their purpose couldn’t have been served with two lines of dialogue.
Lazer team is not the worst thing I’ve watched this year. It’s not even the worst thing I’ve watched this month (but you’re lucky I took in a Chucky marathon recently). It’s basic, unoriginal buddy-boobs-and-bad-one-liners style of comedy. But it’s not as offensive as it could have been and it’s pretty enjoyable for what it is. It’s no Super Troopers, in fact it’s not even close, but it’s fine. Just never watch Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild.