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    Lazer Team (2016): Movie Review

    "Short on laughs and inspirations.” 

    It is the age of superhero films and Lazer Team, the first feature from writer-director Matt Hullum, toys with the origins of a squad of dim-witted world (or galactic) saviors. Wildly-inspired from tons of disaster, action and superhero movies that overfill the cinemas nowadays, the film would have been better if it did not fall short on all levels.

    The film begins in 1977 when the U.S. government was contacted by a seemingly friendly alien race called the Antarians who brought them a warming that said, “You are not alone. Conflict is coming.” In the appointed time, a “suit of power” would also arrive to aid Earth’s chosen champion in a future battle against a hostile extraterrestrial force. So for decades, a covert military force called Project Pegasus raised and trained Adam (Alan Ritchson), an over-serious muscular hottie, for the ill-fated encounter.

    Fast forward and the super-suit is finally arriving to Earth. However, a group of Texan idiots accidentally shoots its capsule in midair with fireworks. Curious, the quartet tinkers with the alien tech and several elements of it become genetically locked to them. Sheriff’s deputy Hagan (Burnie Burns) gets an impenetrable energy shield; his estranged high-school friend and former quarterback Herman (Colton Dunn) acquires boots that gives him super speed; current football star Zach (Michael Jones) can blast laser cannons; and hayseed Woody (Gavin Free) becomes super-intelligent. Another UFO also lands on the planet and begin turning soldiers, as well as Hagan’s cheerleader daughter Mindy (Allie DeBerry), into murderous minions. While Adam is not too happy about the change of course, the four finds themselves morally obligated to fight the unstoppable alien force. 

    Lazer Team is a good-natured movie and its goal of pleasing its audience is quite sincere and unpretentious. It is extraordinarily energetic, mostly enjoyable, and obviously committed to making the most of its limited production budget. Yet, the efforts may not be powerful enough as the film skates on hit-and-miss level only. There is that wanting to give more or do more but it just misses the mark.

    For one, humor is oftentimes lazy and cheesy. Dialogues seem funny but they have no lasting effect. So what happens is that there is an awkward silence after a brief laugh or smile, and in retrospect, it is disappointing. Characters are also not engaging. Although the actors execute easy comic rapport, they are not able to elevate their roles to someone worth rooting for. In the end, their characters are simply not inspiring underdogs despite their utter heroics. Many sequences are also standard issues in similar films in the genre such as the football standoff finale. 

    Lazer Team has an interesting premise but the final product is not as pretty. It’s flat and it’s not memorable.

    Production: YouTube Red Original Movie, Fullscreen Potential, Rooster Teeth 
    Cast: Burnie Burns, Gavin Free, Michael Jones, Colton Dunn, Allie DeBerry, Alan Ritchson, Steve Shearer, Kirk Johnson, Benjamin Scott, Johnny Walter, Chris Demarais, Jeremy St. James 
    Director: Matt Hullum 
    Screenwriters: Burnie Burns, Chris DeMarais, Josh Flanagan, Matt Hullum 
    Producer: Doreen Copeland 
    Executive producers: George Strompolis, Ezra Cooperstein, Adam R. Savage, David Bernard, James Wenninger, Jonathan Dylan Adams, Jordan Lucas, Lannan Eacott, Lilly Miller, Drew Credico, Michael Hearne, Noah T.A.A. Magaro, Russell P. Hower, Zachary Paradowski
    Director of photography: Phillip Roy
    Production designer: Marcus LaPorte 
    Editors: Chris DeMarais, Josh Flanagan, Aaron Marquis, David JamesWard


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