By: Shahbaz Khayambashi
For the first time in their ten year history, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival broke with tradition and allowed an under-18 crowd to one of its screenings. More specifically, anyone over the age of 14 was invited to come and view Lazer Team, the new film from Rooster Teeth Productions. A company which is apparently very popular with kids, according to the sheer number of teenagers who turned out to see one of the two sold-out screenings.
I have no knowledge of Rooster Teeth. Therefore, going into the film, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. As such, I feel like there might be a need for two reviews here: those who are going in with no idea what they are about to see and those who have been waiting for this film with bated breath ever since its Indiegogo campaign was announced. First, judging by the crowd reaction, I think it is fair to say that the diehard fans of Rooster Teeth will love this film without question. Now, for the rest of us: Lazer Team does not necessarily break new ground for sci-fi comedy.
A group of losers accidentally intercept a spaceship which contains armour and weapons intended for a protector of Earth. Once they manage to get those objects on themselves, it becomes their job to defend their planet from invading forces. The film is frequently fresh with its satirical jabs at modern media, and the comedy can also be quite progressive – it’s refreshing to see a film take a stand against nationalism and rampant militarism in this modern “support our troops” age. But, far too often, it takes the easy road and sticks to sexist and scatological humour. Thankfully, these habits become less and less as the film progresses. Another issue for the uninitiated is that there seems to be a lot of jokes in the film designed specifically for fans: I heard the theatre erupt in laughter several times when nothing funny was said.
Despite these shortcomings, Lazer Team is a brainlessly entertaining film. If you are in the mood to watch things blow up and listen to funny people say one-liners, you could certainly do worse.
For more information on the festival, visit the official TAD webpage here.
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