Lazer Team online movie review - Misplaced and wobbly talent on a good attempt
I'm a longtime Rooster Teeth fan so I gave the movie a 7 to bolster the review and for the effort.
The actual score would be lower if I weren't familiar with the people behind the movie, and the reason for this comes down to one main problem: they bit off more than they could handle, especially with only a $2.5 million budget. That might seem like a lot but for what they were trying to accomplish, that's infinitesimal. So the effort and dedication of the film team is what bolsters my score to a 7.
Another issue with the film is the humor, which is sometimes hit or miss. Humor always needs to come organically and unfortunately there were times that it seemed very forced here for the sake of a joke. When it landed, often with he case of Gavin's character, it's because it's a character himself is just "being himself" and that ends up being quite funny. In the future, if there's a joke, a mini-story should be built around it to make sure they audience will buy everything about the setup and delivery, because I could easily see people not going along with each gag in this film.
I'm looking forward to more films from RT but I would issue three cautions:
- On your next film, scale it back. If you have $2 million, make a $2 million movie. This movie, with all the people, props, effects, and scope is a much larger-budgeted film with a smaller budget than it needed and I think that's where a lot of the negative comments on here stem from. I hope that, if they get two or three million again for their next film, they scale the scope down to something that's tighter, stronger, and a bit more believable. If it's a comedy, I would hope that it's something that lands each and every joke and that's told with believable acting. I also hope that their next film is NOT Lazerteam 2 ... yet. I think that a film like that would be great as a third or fourth film, but I sincerely hope they scale the scope back and use a large budget to focus on really sticking the landing for acting, humor, and effects for each part of that.
- Lazerteam was made in big part by and for the fans and because of that there was sort of a safety net?the fans, myself included, laughed at a lot of the in-jokes and actors that I've grown to know on the various podcasts and YouTube videos, but for someone who has no idea who the RT folks are or what the community is about, I could see them feeling that this isn't a very good movie. I hope that RT's next film strays from this and makes a very solid movie that's "for the theater," or "for everyone who pays for a ticket." In other words, I hope that they go into the next film with a "cold audience" in mind, an audience that is unfamiliar with anything that's been done in the past or anything that has to do with the community.
- Third, to restate, with the budget they had they tried making a $10 million or $20 million movie and it pulled the final product down. I've learned this the hard way on films I've made until I finally found a balance between budget and what one can realistically pull off, and Lazerteam ultimately suffered because of this, and I really hope their next film doesn't.
In short, I really want these folks to succeed and a lot of the criticism I feel, and I'm usually really good at judging this, is because of the three factors above. Lazerteam was a very honest and impressive effort at an Olympic-level routine while only being a very talented college-level gymnast. I hope they train hard and focus a bit more on a tighter story, characters, dialogue, jokes, and have less effects on their next effort so that instead of being wobbly and having to regain their balance because they almost tumble, they're able to stick the landing and have a product that works for ALL audiences, not just Rooster Teeth fans.