Spencer Smith ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Rooster Teeth has come a long way, hasn’t it? The production company that started off recording video games and recording lines in a closet has now, over a decade later, released a motion picture. After 6 years of development, Lazer Team is here, and whether or not it entertains you has a large amount to do with what you feel about Rooster Teeth itself.
The film starts in the 70s when a race of aliens contact the American military warning them that an alien war will start a few decades or so from now, and they’ll send a suit of alien power armor around that time to help us fight it. The military picks a baby named Adam, and he’s trained from birth to be the champion of Earth who will fight for the honor of the human race, so naturally everything goes wrong on the fateful night the suit is sent down when four idiots: Hagan (Burnie Burns), Zach (Michael Jones), Herman (Colton Dunn) and Woody (Gavin Free) accidentally knock the pod containing the suit out of the sky and put individual pieces on. What follows is a spoof of team movies as the four underdogs must find a way to work together in classic (or is it cliched) fashion.
To say Lazer Team is a spoof may not be entirely accurate since it follows the Mighty Ducks formula to a tee. The team doesn’t like each other, then they start to work together, then they start growing on each other, and eventually go up against the big bad. Lazer Team’s story is one of its weaker aspects since it doesn’t do much with the formula, it feels less like a spoof and more like a homage, but a homage to something that’s not often great. However, the plot does manage to give its characters enough room to screw around in, which is Rooster Teeth’s speciality even now. Burns, Jones, Free and Dunn all play off each other wonderfully, even if the former three are acting as their archetypes (Burns = smart ass, Jones = hothead. Free = idiot). Their roles are fun and well acted parts that work well together thanks to the actors off screen chemistry.
Despite the story’s failings, the writing can be very funny and, at times, is flat out hilarious; in particular, Lazer Team is at it’s finest when we see our four fools bouncing off each other and demonstrating, as Adam calls it, “the most competent incompetence”. Interactions are still where Rooster Teeth shine brightly and every character gets a chance to work off another which results in the biggest laughs; That combined with good jokes and a good sense of comedic timing will keep you laughing whether you’re a Rooster Teeth fan or not. One of the funniest lines comes from a general who suggests dropping a nuke to save the day because in his words, “We need to save the world, and more importantly, this nation!”. The dialogue is a bit reminiscent of Ghostbusters actually, there’s so many great quotes that you can drop in conversation naturally and get laughs many times.
However, Lazer Team isn’t Ghostbusters, and it’s quite clear that the script could’ve been ironed out since the plot just keeps coming back and distracting us from the funny people, fun stunts, and good jokes. For example, there’s a whole part in the film where they’re doing their big training sequence but in the end it’s pointless and doesn’t do much with the actual cliche itself. Lazer Team feels like it could’ve been more but settles for less; throughout the movie there’s cameos of Rooster Teeth personnel which, while nice, feel like a waste of talent who could’ve given us more laughs. There’s times when even the dialogue has a distinct lack of edge to the script.
All of these problems don’t really come into play if you’re a fan, if you are than it is very likely that you have bought, gone, and seen Lazer Team already, as you should. Despite these gripes, Lazer Team is distinctly a Rooster Teeth picture, and if you’re a fan it’s practically a set of grapes set out for you to delectably savor but if you aren’t (then you’re asking why grapes of all things?) it’s not quite as delicious. There’s nothing too special about Lazer Team but it’s still better than a lot of the garbage that American comedies keep forking out every year nowadays. Whether you’re a fan or not you’ll at least find something in Lazer Team to make you laugh, and there’s something nice about paying money to go see four idiots trying to save the world as opposed to seeing Adam Sandler fart a few times in tropic resort.
Overall Grade: B-