Matt Hullum’s agreeably silly 1980s homage Lazer Team deserves to be the breakthrough for the Rooster Teeth comedy troupe that Super Troopers was for Broken Lizard.
In a small Texas town, four local screw-ups — ineffectual sheriff’s deputy Hagan (Burnie Burns), his estranged high school friend Herman (Colton Dunn), teenage malcontent Zach (Michael Jones), and hayseed Woody (Gavin Free) — accidentally intercept an alien battle suit intended for government-trained hunk Adam (Alan Ritchson). They must learn to work together to battle an imminent alien invasion after the four parts of the suit (helmet, shield, laser, and boots) attach to their bodies and the laser-wielding Zach brands them the Lazer [sic] Team. (Lazer Team the film acknowledges Zach’s poor spelling.)
Unfortunately, it’s quite the sausage fest; the only female character who gets a name or significant screen time is Hagan’s teenage daughter Mindy (Alexandria DeBerry), whose main characteristic is her bangability. But while it fails the Bechdel test, this $2.5 million Indiegogo-funded picture is still a far better time than the recent financial disasters it resembles thematically, Chris Columbus’s $88 million Pixels and Josh Trank’s $120 million Fantastic Four.
And because it’s made by people who understand the importance of a clever script and want their audience to have fun, Lazer Team may just prove to be 2016’s most entertaining superhero movie.
Directed by Matt Hullum
Opens January 29, AMC Empire 25
Available on demand