In July, online entertainment company Rooster Teeth Productions managed do something amazing. Not only did they manage to fund their first live action feature length film, Lazer Team, they became the most funded film campaign on Indiegogo, raising $2,480,421 from 37,497 backers. The company also produces the longest running Machinima style show, Red vs Blue.
Lazer Team begins decades ago when the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project received a onetime signal from outer space, which was never decoded. Or so we were told. Unbeknownst to the general public, the secretly translated signal said two things: One, we are not alone, and two, the galaxy is a dangerous place. Working in total secrecy, the US government has been training a single Champion of Earth – a warrior of incredible skill to don a suit of unimaginable power designed by new alien allies in preparation for Earth’s battle for survival against an evil race of aliens. Unfortunately, the suit never made it all the way to its intended destination. Instead of a lone savior, four hapless idiots find the suit and are thrust into the role of heroes as the titular Lazer Team.
Lazer Team is a sci-fi comedy directed by Rooster Teeth co-founder and CEO Matt Hullum (Red vs. Blue, Barenaked Ladies music videos “Odd’s Are”, “Did I Say That Out Loud?”) from a story by Rooster Teeth co-founder and Creative Director Burnie Burns, and script by Hullum, Burns, Josh Flanagan, and Chris Demarais. It features a principal cast including: Alan Ritchson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Adam, also known as the Champion of Earth. The four bumbling members of Lazer Team are portrayed by Colton Dunn (Parks and Recreation) as Herman, Gavin Free (The Slow Mo Guys) as Woody, Michael Jones (RWBY, Rage Quit) as Zach, and Burnie Burns (Red vs. Blue, Immersion) as Hagan. Alexandria Deberry (A.N.T. Farm) plays Hagan’s daughter Mindy.
As a long time Rooster Teeth fan, I was extremely excited when I heard they’d be doing a feature length film. A lot of the cast and crew were people that have exercised their creativity and humor throughout the company, and seeing their talents translated from short skits into a full length movie was a treat. Fans of Rooster Teeth’s shorts will enjoy the film, as it contains a lot of the humor they’re known for. There are moments that feel a tad slow compared to the rest of the movie, mostly near the beginning. Once the movie gets kicking, however, it’s a fun ride throughout. The action is there, and they make great use of the talent they’ve employed; while the CG gets almost hammy at times, the practical effects were fantastic. There are plenty of great gags that rely on the costumes, either being worn or even just talking about it.
Overall, Lazer Team is a fun comedy, a great popcorn movie, and one that I’ll go back and re-watch for a good time or whenever I need a laugh. Rooster Teeth did a good job on its first feature film, and I look forward to seeing what comes from them in the future.