A funny, interesting story that is filled with good dumb humor but tries too hard.
Chances are, especially if you’re a gamer, you might have heard about Rooster Teeth, the production company behind some popular web series such as Red vs. Blue. However, those web series seem to be behind them as they make their first foray into live action film, very different from the type of content they are used to producing. The film follows four guys who don’t like each other as they intercept an alien power armor on the way to a secret military base. This suit was supposed to be used by Earth’s champion, played by Alan Ritchson, trained from his youth for one mission, to save the planet from an impending alien attack that they have been prepping for since they were warned around twenty years ago. Nonetheless, Lazer Team, like their previous work, was funny in a crude way, had complete character arcs, and textbook story telling qualities. If you’ve ever seen Red Vs. Blue, this is basically a live action version of that. With that said, it’s still missing something.
Matt Hullum did a great job directing, considering his work mostly lies in directing machinima works like Red vs Blue. His adjustment to live action was rather flawless. He manages to get out of actors the same crass yet funny behavior he gets out of his voice actors, with a new dimension added to it. However, at the end of the day, it feels like an average job overall. There was nothing new nor anything spectacular about this film or the way he portrays this story. It feels like something you’ve seen before but not quite as good.
The story, despite it’s out there premise, is not bad. In typical Rooster Teeth fashion, they focus on the development of characters in an unusual situation, rather than the unusual situation itself, which makes for and interesting watch. The jokes are kind of funny, but filled with a sea of stale humor in between each decent one. The characters read as flat and uninspired, but to no fault of the actors. The script gives us a good character arc filled with development but no reason why we should care for these characters or their journey.
Alan Ritchson, Alexandria DeBerry, as well as the members of the Lazer Team, Colton Dunn, Gavin Free, Burnie Burns, and Michael Jones, all had great performances. Though all of these actors are more or less quite experienced in doing comedic scenes, it was nice to see them not only attempt but deliver dramatic performances that were all in all pretty good. However, Alan Ritchson goes a step beyond, playing a noble, smart, yet conflicted and jealousy man who was denied his right to be Earth’s champion. I’m surprised the same guy from Blue Mountain State was able to have such acting range.
Watching this movie was fun and relaxing in a dumb laid back kind of way. It delivers a solid story with somewhat hollow characters and that’s ok. In the end, maybe it wasn’t missing something. It was trying to be something more that what it was. Watch it for the humor and that laughs and ignore it’s attempts to be too much more than that.