“Lazer Team” began its theatrical run in Houston yesterday at AMC Willowbrook and Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park.
Years ago, aliens warned the Earth that a conflict was imminent in an effort to allow us to prepare for a battle to save the planet. The government chose a child, raised him, and trained him physically and mentally his entire life to become Earth’s champion. That perfect specimen of a man is known as Adam (Alan Ritchson).
In the present day, the aliens send a powerful suit to Earth to aid Adam in his protection of Earth. Unfortunately for him, the government, and the rest of the planet, the weapon is intercepted by four imbeciles: an idiotic water boy named Woody (Gavin Free), a former football athlete and current drunk Herman (Colton Dunn), the egotistically macho high school quarterback Zach (Michael Jones), and the cop who takes things too seriously and yet still manages to screw up named Hagan (Burnie Burns). The suit pieces meld to the first person who puts them on, so these four screw-ups are the planet’s only chance of survival.
Rooster Teeth, the production company responsible for “Red vs. Blue,” is behind “Lazer Team” and it’s the company’s first feature film. Featured on the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, the “Lazer Team” campaign raised nearly $2.5 million and reached 382% of its original goal of $650,000.
The sci-fi comedy is an independent film through and through with blatant homage to films like “Ghostbusters” and special effects lifted from classic video games and the likes of “Tron.” While the film showcases its influences in an extremely bright spotlight, the comedy isn’t able to hit its mark. Nothing in the film initiates a laugh, chuckle, or snicker. You find yourself glancing to see how much of the film is remaining because the entire film feels so ridiculously familiar.
The stadium fight with the Worg champion is the film’s most decent sequence, but it feels too much like a sequence lifted from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and special effects that are just as ancient. Computer animation in the film is overly basic and looks cheap despite more than likely being the exact opposite. The Worg have an appearance that is similar to Panthro from “Thundercats” eating an entire jack o’lantern with a burning candle inside and then attempting to speak with his mouth full.
The film is the typical group of underdogs who absolutely have no intention of ever working together as a team, but then suddenly realize that they’re more powerful as a unit rather than individual spotlight craving hogs. The acting in the film isn’t unbearable, but it’s not entertaining either. Colton Dunn has a James Avery quality to him that makes him stand out while Burnie Burns has a surprisingly strong screen presence. Gavin Free seems to be channeling C-3PO as soon as he puts that helmet on while Michael Jones flourishes as a douchebag jock.
After viewing the film, it’s difficult to find anything enjoyable about it. It aims to be funny, have exciting action sequences, and utilize science fiction elements, but it really only embraces sci-fi and video games without delivering much else. The familiarity of the storyline becomes infuriating since so many films over the past couple years have done something similar; films like “The Watch,” “Men in Black 3,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and “Cancelled” the first episode of season seven of “South Park.” It isn’t so much that “Lazer Team” just so happened to be about a cliché subject, but it took money from the public and spent it on this hackneyed bucket filled with recycled ideas that just feels lazy.
In the final act of the film, Herman declares that his “balls just went numb.” Yours will too and so will the rest of your body as it retreats into unconsciousness from viewing such a repetitive waste of an hour and forty minutes. “Lazer Team” is like an intergalactic version of “Super Troopers” that’s somehow even less funny than the Broken Lizard guys. “Lazer Team” is as bad and as excruciating as “Pixels” except it manages to be even more painful without Adam Sandler around to make fun of.