Hey, what’s up everybody, it’s your boy Cameron Abbott, the Unsexiest Comedian that you know and the man whose face was built for radio.
So I’ve not been well this Sunday, as I’ve fluttered in and out of sleep today. Spring is here, and that means my body goes through it’s Spring Cleaning. And by “Cleaning” I mean I will feel like garbage till late spring, where I will then feel like hot garbage. So with a couple of Ibuprofen, Allegra, and a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, I have had enough consciousness to watch Lazer Team, Rooster Teeth‘s, first feature film, from the creators of the Halo inspired Red Versus Blue, and the western animation RWBY. These were just four guys when the whole “internet” thing took off, and now they own one of, if not THE most successful, online video production companies on the Internet.
Rooster Teeth has always come off as being very independent from YouTube, whether it was their very Austin, TX based operation staying put when every online venture was making it’s way to LA or San Francisco, or even not moving their library content over to YouTube, choosing instead to foster a community on their own platform, with YouTube as a side conduit. Which is why it struck me as odd that Lazer Team, a film that was started on Indigogo, where they rose just shy of $2.5 Million, chose a digital release platform like YouTube Red for their release. Now this isn’t the first time Rooster Teeth has been joining Google’s little video player site, as Rooster Teeth hosted the YouTube Gaming E3 stage, and now has their entire library of shows available on their YouTube Channel, with new episodes being week long exclusives for their site sponsors.
I had put Lazer Team on the back burner for a rainy day like this (rainy day is a euphemism in Arizona, especially in Phoenix), and when contemplating how I could see this film, from the comfort of my computer chair, and for the littlest amount of money possible, I recalled a Tweet from Rooster Teeth Co-Founder, Matt Hullum, asking for viewers to see it on YouTube Red reather than pirating it. YouTube Red being a new service that for $9.99 gave you an option that anyone whose used YouTube as long as I have, options that a few plugins or tricks can give you for free. Thinking about it, I signed up for a YouTube Red trial account, watched Lazer Team, and after pondering if I would use the service, realized I wouldn’t, and cancelled my membership. Still, the process for enrollment and cancellation was seamless and now I have a month of YouTube Red features for free.
Now to the good part: How was Lazer Team?
Verdict: It was good. Better than average, the filmmakers knew what they wanted to make, knew how to apply their budget to it, and did a wonderful job of it. B+ Space Comedy, with plenty of action, cool tech moments, and didn’t drag it’s feet. They knew the characters were only 2-Dimensional and they owned that. There’s no greater meaning, no questions that normally come off of movies like this, with the added caveat of being too big for their britches. Lazer Team knew what it was, knew what it wanted to be, and knew how to get there. The performances were good, thought never really great, but they never broke the immersion. Whether it was Burnie Burns dual tones, Michael Jones inability but to come off as an uncaring prick in every scene, Gavin Free’s refusal to actually convey anything outside of a glass eyed stare the entire time, or Colton Dunn’s inability to actually convey hate Burns’s character, only a perpetual annoyance. Alan Ritchson came off continually as the most seasoned of the billed names, conveying believable emotions that felt real, especially in comparison to his most famed role as Thad from BMS. Ritchson’s ability to give depth to this otherwise shallow display, was the key ingredient needed to make this film work. As it carved an additional dimension to the other actors portrayals and allowed them to do what they do best, and not stand out of the expectations of the production, preventing any breaking of the films immersion.
Because Lazer Team didn’t need to be anything more than what is was, by delivering this, Rooster Teeth have provided a film that was a true labor of love, and can be proud of this display of a fantastic film. Good shit, man. Watch it.