In 1977, a signal is received from a the deepest depths of space. Emanating from a race called the Andarians, it contains the message, “You are not alone. Conflict is coming.” Informing Earth that a super suit is en-route, destined for our future ‘Champion’, we are instructed to train the best and boldest individual we have in preparation for a forthcoming battle with the fearsome species, the Worg.
As the ship bearing the four pieces of the ‘SuperSuit’ meant for Adam, the perfect physical specimen trained from birth to be Earth’s saviour, enters the atmosphere, it is accidentally shot down by the drunk Herman and Woody. When local policeman Hagan and high-school Jock Zach turn-up, events conspire to genetically attach a piece of the suit to each of the unprepared, untrained and unworthy individuals. With only days until the arrival of the fearsome Worg champion, Adam must swallow his pride and disappointment and attempt to train the group who have already named themselves Lazer Team.
You might have missed this one. Lazer Team is at the vanguard of the new YouTube spearhead, ‘YouTube Red’, an initiative aiming to give voice to the creative aspirations of the channels bigger stars. Rooster Teeth, the outfit responsible for the phenomenal success of the web series Red vs Blue, are one of the first out of the block and together with YouTube and a scant $2.4 million of IndieGogo crowd-funding, have produced this. Available online, it’s been deemed worthy of a limited UK theatrical release.
All the money, what little there is, is up on the screen. For all it’s new approach to film making and funding, this is as clichéd and predictable as any SyFy mid-week, mid-afternoon offering but that’s part of it’s huge charm and warmth. As soon our hapless foursome become attached to the suits’ various components, the arc they will trace is clear. And thus we feel safe, both in the company we’re in and what to expect.
As the team first bicker, then fall out before coming together in the final reel, and Adam casts aside his selfishness as he grows into a real hero, the truth is revealed about the Andarians. If that sounds familiar, last year’s Pixels may come to mind and the fact that Lazer Team has more heart, soul and pure enjoyment is a pretty savage indictment of the bloated, star-studded multi-million dollar Adam Sandler flop. Sure, it sometimes resembles a Saturday morning kids serial and the SFX occasionally come across very 1980’s Disney, but in tone it’s a direct cousin of Bill & Ted – these are guys you can really root for. Party on Lazer Team.