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Film / Lazer Team

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The heroes we have, not the ones we need. Or deserve. Or want.

"Four unlikely heroes have to save the planet. Whether we like it or not."

Lazer Team is a 2015 Science Fiction action comedy film, and the first feature-length film by Rooster Teeth Productions. Directed and co-written by Matt Hullum, the film stars Burnie Burns (who also co-wrote the film and created its story), Gavin Free, Colton Dunn and Michael Jones.

In the 1970s, the Earth was contacted by a group of aliens who warned of an incoming threat that would destroy the planet, and promised to send a suit of Powered Armor to help us. The Earth trained a human from birth to be its champion, but when the alien craft carrying the suit is accidentally shot down by a drunken firework display, four ordinary people don pieces of the armour instead. With the armour parts genetically locked to each person and mere days before the extraterrestrial threat lands on Earth, this dysfunctional and ill-prepared "Lazer Team" must learn to work as a unit if the world is to be saved.

Lazer Team was funded through Indiegogo. Its campaign, which lasted from June 6 to July 6, 2014, initially set a goal of $650,000, but online support was great enough that it broke the site's record for its quickest-funded film and reached one million dollars in only two days. The campaign eventually raised $2,480,334, which to this day is the record for the highest-funded film campaign on Indiegogo.

The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 24, 2015, received a limited theatrical release on January 27, 2016, was made available on YouTube Premiumnote  from February 10, 2016, and was added to Rooster Teeth's FIRST streaming service on November 3, 2017.

The teaser trailer can be seen here, and the first official trailer can be seen here.

On August 5, 2016, a sequel was announced; it was eventually released on November 22, 2017 under the name Lazer Team 2.

This film provides examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Woody sports a mullet.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Adam tells Hagan that breaking out of the space and killing 4 soldiers with alien technology was the "most competent incompetence" he's ever seen.
  • Action Survivor: The titular team, and Hagan's daughter Mindy, who at one point is a full-on Action Girl after the Worg's mind control drone turns her into a super-strong slave.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of Science Fiction movies, particularly ones from The '80s.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The suit has a special attack that can only be used when all the pieces work in tandem, and requires the Lazer Team to work together to activate it. Of course, when worn by a single person, it's just a regular Charged Attack.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Its never outright stated, but it's apparent that Woody has some kind of disorder, prior to his brain-boost; he's gullible, easily swayed, not too bright, and is rather slow to react to things. Hagan outright calls out the army for being so brutal with him due to the fact he's seemingly brain-damaged.
  • Anti-Hero Team: The titular team, comprised of four of the universe's biggest idiots and jackasses.
  • Anti-Villain: The Worg only do all their attacks to save their homeworld.
  • Asshole Victim: The jerkass members of the military patrol, especially Murdoch. Not only are they possessed, but they also become zombie-like Meat Puppets after their Jeep crashes. And then they get blown up by heroes.
  • Badass Crew: The Lazer Team, though it takes time.
  • Beam-O-War: The dark matter guns.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Hagan commenting that the cruiser's brakes needed working on after using the brakes to slam Zach's head against the divider glass repeatedly.
    • The general claiming that he handpicked the team in the post battle scene.
  • Big Bad: The Worg appear as the main antagonists of the story. Except they are not and it is the Antarians who are the true main antagonists.
  • Big Good: The Antarians appear to be this, being that they went out of their way to warn humanity and give them the power they'd need to fight the Worg. Subverted, however, as it turns out they're actually the Big Bad; they've set up a tournament for all the different populations in space where they force them to provide a champion to fight for the Antarian's amusement, with the losers having their planet destroyed. Even though the Worg are violent brutes who go out of their way to cheat, they are only even fighting Earth at all because they are in the same situation as Earth and are only trying save their own planet from the Antarians.
  • Big "NO!": Hagan, after Adam is vaporized.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Apparently, Worg genitals are located around their armpits.
  • Blood Sport: It is revealed that the Antarians have set up a tournament in which planets are tasked with choosing "champions" who must fight to the death for their amusement. The losing planets get destroyed.
  • Body Horror: The patrol that was possessed by the Worg continue moving, even as they are broken by the heroes. At one point, one has to use his left hand to raise his right arm in order to aim his weapon.
    • The pieces of the suit literally drill themselves into the wearers. For Hagan, Zach, and Herman, this is just shown by the pieces seemingly clamping and they scream. But with Woody, his helmet has two giant screws sticking out of the top, which then proceed to drive themselves in and presumably penetrate his skull.
  • Brain Bleach: Woody suffers from a major case of squick when he discovers the X-Ray Vision function on the helmet... and looks at his male companions, who aren't exactly the most attractive set of dudes. It doesn't help that the male technician who comes over to make an adjustment to the helmet pulls his head forward so that Woody is effectively looking straight at his crotch.
    Woody: Oh, helmet! Oh, turn it off! Turn it off! Oh, God! I wish I was dead!
  • The Cameo:
    • When discussing the appearance of aliens on the news, one anchor has a brief interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who plays himself.
    • On top of that, the anchor is portrayed by frequent Rooster Teeth collaborator Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies.
    • Many Rooster Teeth actors cameo in minor roles as well.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Herman, nicknamed "The Texas Tornado", was looking at a full-ride scholarship as a running back when he took a hit that did permanent damage to his leg. The hit came when "Half-Assed" Hagan missed a block, causing Herman to be very resentful towards Hagan.
  • The Chosen One: Adam was chosen by the US military to be the Champion of Earth, training his entire life to achieve that one goal.
  • Clingy Costume: Once donned, the teams can’t remove the individual components they tried on. Not because of clingy space magic or anything. The pieces of the suit literally drill themselves into the guys' respective bodies.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The armor was meant to make a normal man into a super soldier.
  • Combat by Champion: According to the Antarians, the only way for Earth to survive is for a single Champion to be trained and given a Suit of Power to battle the Worg Champion. It turns out it's just an interstellar tournament set up by the Antarians, pitting other races against one another, giving each a Suit of Power and having their champions battle it out. The loser's planet is destroyed.
  • Curse Cut Short: When Emory reveals at the end that Lazer Team is going to space as the war has not ended, Hagan responds with "What the f—" before the movie cuts to black.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Played straight in the trailer when Hagan tells everyone that the alien threat is on their way in two days and if they won't fight it, no one else will. When he asks if they're with him, Zach responds "Hell, no!"note 
  • Deflector Shield: One of the gloves of the power armor, worn by Hagan.
  • Delicious Distraction: Combined with We Need a Distraction when Possessed!Mindy brings the team food so she can get at Zach's laser cannon.
  • Ditzy Genius: Woody, after putting on the helmet. His intelligence spikes and he gains massive mental capabilities, but he still seems to be rather goofy; he distracts his teammates from paying attention by trying to telepathically give them a warning that could have waited until after, he freaks out upon seeing a plastic skeleton, and he's surprisingly slow on the uptake that the Worg champion is aiming an attack at him. He also starts to affect a British Accent because Stupid Woody thinks that's what Smart Woody should sound like.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Borders on Orgasmic Combat. When a Worg-possessed Mindy is attacking Zack in the bedroom of Hagan's ex's house, the rest of the team outside hear the loud noises and assume it's sex. Not helping is Mindy's line "Give it to me, or I'll rip it off!"
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Half-Assed" Hagan.
  • Epic Fail: How "Half-Assed" Hagan got his nickname. One simple failure to block someone got Herman blindsided, and it broke his leg (giving him his limp) and lost the team the championship.
  • Everything Is Ani Pod In The Future: The Suit of Power definitely has this aesthetic.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Anyone possessed by the Worg has a deepened voices.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: When Zach tries to shoot a possessed soldier in the cafeteria, he inadvertently shoots at the screen door above him, which drops down and crushes the soldier.
    "Meant to do that, bitch!"
  • Face Cam: Used in one brief shot to illustrate Zach's disorientation as he falls into a pool after being tased by Hagan.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: The heroes decide to try on the pieces of a power suit that they find in the wreckage.
  • Fantastic Racism: The aliens' want to eradicate the human race because they want to kill any races they deem weak seems a lot like this. Ultimately averted, as the Worg are only doing this to protect their own planet.
  • Favors for the Sexy: As part of the plan to escape the stadium, Mindy talks with the police to distract them while acting like a Dumb Blonde, and it works like a charm.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The functions on the helmet? Infrared, Ultraviolet, X-Ray Vision, Spectrometer, Slow Mo, and Beer Goggles.
    • Some more hidden gags can be found in the news crawls.
      "President Trump has already called for new legislation to build a space wall to keep out the 'Literal illegal aliens', though he did admit some are probably 'Perfectly good spacefarers.'"
  • Genius Bruiser: The opening scenes show Adam training to become the Champion of Earth, and part of that training is playing chess while fighting off attackers.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Woody becomes one after putting on the mental-strengthening helmet.
  • Groin Attack:
    • At one point, Woody is sent wildly headspinning on the floor with his helmet flying directly into Zach's crotch.
    • During the final battle, Woody detects that the Worg's genitalia is near its armpit, so he immediately headbutts that area, eliciting a groan of pain.
  • The Heart: Hagan and Woody both seem to have shades of this; Hagan's the one who pushes the team onto task through dramatic speeches, while Woody is the most honestly decent member of the group and the one who the others have the least amount of scorn for.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Adam goes from antagonizing the team (since they DID steal the armor he was destined to use) to acknowledging their talent that occasionally bypassed even his comprehension of the armor's capabilities. He ends up as their coach up to the final battle, and allows the Worg champion to kill him to give one final lesson in how to use the Dark Matter Beam.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Adam lets the alien champion kill him so Woody can analyse the Dark Matter Beam and learn how they can activate it.
  • Heroic Second Wind: As Hagan prepares to have his gauntlet cut off from his arm, the champion comes in and gives him words of encouragement, telling him that his experience and ability with the technology is far beyond his, boosting Hagan's courage.
  • Humans Are Morons: When Zack considers turning themselves in to give the people protesting a chance to live, Herman notes that the protesters are idiots, noting one person who direly misspelled "apocalypse" on their poster (as "apockalips"). This is also ignoring that Zack himself unintentionally misspelled the word "laser" in his Facebook post (or he probably thought that "lazer" was cooler).
  • Idiot Hero: The titular Lazer Team.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The armor has a "Stealth Mode" activated through Woody's helmet that, when worn altogether, renders the wearer completely invisible. When worn separately, however, it only makes the individual suit pieces invisible, making it look like the members of the team have had their limbs (or their head in Woody's case) amputated. It also disabled the functionality of the other pieces, as Zach tries to fire his gun while it's cloaked, and it just clicks uselessly.
  • Jerk Jock: Zach, and to a lesser extent, Adam.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Zach tells Mindy, when she is possessed and trying to get the Lazer gauntlet from him, that he want to bang her, but also that he thinks he's in love with her, and that maybe those two things have something to do with each other.
    • Adam, although at first jealous of the Lazer Team for stealing the one thing he was ever expected to do, gets over it as soon as he sees that they are capable of working as a team, and might have a chance of pulling it off.
  • Jive Turkey: Herman fits this trope to a T.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Parodied; after Mindy is de-possessed of the parasitic Worg probe, it goes into self-destruct mode, and Hagan jumps on it with shield activated as everyone else flees. Nothing happens for a bit, leading Hagan to conclude that it won't blow up...just as it does so.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Franksen is zapped by his Brainwashed and Crazy possessed friends right as he's saying he thought something bad was gonna happen, getting obliterated by a blast from their Worg-provided laser guns.
  • Like a Son to Me: Adam to Colonel Emory, who has personally selected him as the Champion after Adam's birth and oversaw his training for 38 years. When the Worg Champion disintegrates Adam, Emory collapses in grief.
  • Literal-Minded: Woody becomes this as a result of his increased intelligence through the information he can access through his helmet. One example is when Zack says "We're pieces of shit" and Woody notes that the human body is .5% feces.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum:
    • Subverted when the suit of power fails to work for the original chosen one.
    • But then double subverted when it does work for Lazer Team and no one else.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: After a brief breakup, the members of Lazer Team regroup. The current page quote comes when Hagan is trying to convince Herman to rejoin:
    Hagan: Herman, listen. We need you for this. I know you think you're not fast enough, and I'm not strong enough, and I know we've had our differences, but I think it's time we—
    Herman: Okay.
    Hagan: "Okay?"
    Herman: I'm in, man.
    Hagan: Wow, you made that super-easy on me; I had, like, this whole speech worked up and everything.
    Herman: Hmm, well, thankfully we don't have to listen to that.
  • Mood Whiplash: Played for Laughs during the final battle. At one point, Hagan and the Worg champion are dramatically deflecting a cannon shot back and forth between each other. The film then cuts to an overhead of the entire football field they are fighting on, and the visual effect of the shields bouncing the energy blast looks (and sounds) like Pong.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mindy. She even exploits it in one scene to distract police officers while the heroes make their escape.
  • Nice Guy: Woody, at least compared to the others. While the rest vary on how much of a jerk they are, Woody is the only member who's a genuinely nice person, largely due to Dumb Is Good, though this is later inverted once he puts on the helmet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The only reason Adam has to sacrifice himself is because none of the team members were paying attention when he was explaining to them how to fire the Dark Matter Beam.
  • No Time to Explain: Parodied during a chase scene between Lazer Team and the Worg-possessed soldiers.
    Mindy: What the hell is going on?!
    Woody: No time to explain! You were possessed by an alien probe, and now we're being chased by four soldiers who also appear to have been possessed in the same way! (Beat) I guess there was time to explain.
  • Only Sane Man: Hagan through most of the movie, crossing with The Smart Guy until Woody's enhancements kick in.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Woody, a country hick, is played by Gavin Free, a Brit from Oxfordshire. This is actually an Invoked Trope, as the helmet he dons heightens his intelligence and gives him a British accent.
    Zach: Why the hell does he sound British now?
    Beautiful Scientist: Woody is a stupid person, and that's what stupid people think smart people sound like.
    • A regular example occurs when Woody first greets Hagan, as his line sounds like a mix of country hick and British, rather than specifically the former.
    • After Herman pulls out a big firework, Woody says, "Ooh, The Mama Gigante." Sounds British than country.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Shut up, Franksen!"
  • Power Perversion Potential: Woody discovers his helmet's X-Ray Vision as an attractive female scientist is explaining it to him. It backfires horribly when he looks at his male teammates, and gets worse when a scientist tries tinkering the helmet while tilting Woody's head down, meaning he's staring directly into his crotch.
  • Powered Armor: The gear our heroes obtain was meant to be this. However, that's a little tough to do as there's four guys wearing each piece.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: As the possessed soldier who has Mindy hostage counts to 3 to kill her, he gets to 2 before Herman runs by and says "Three." before snatching Mindy, enabling Zack to shoot the soldier.
  • Punny Name:
    • Woody's full name is Woodrow "Woody" Johnson. Originally a Meaningful Name as well, as Woody had a Gag Penis in early drafts of the script.
    • Then we have two of the Asshole Victim soldier guys: one is named Franksen and another is named Bean. Franksen. Bean. Franks n' beans.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Nobody on the team likes one another until the end.
  • Ray Gun: Arm-mounted section of the power suit, worn by Zach.
  • Refusal of the Call: Multiple times, members of the Lazer Team (particularly Herman) express that their only wish is to go home and let someone else deal with the crisis.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The military project to prepare for the suit was Project Perseus, because Perseus of legend was given a weapon, helmet, shield and boots. At the end the project to go into space was Project Pegasus. Woody also references the Biblical story of David and Goliath.
  • Running Gag:
    • In the first act, the escalating damage to Hagan's sheriff cruiser, culminating with it being the first victim of the arm cannon.
    • Herman puking whenever he exerts himself.
    • Zach's terrible aim; in his introduction shot, he accidentally hits Woody with a football, then just continues from there once he gets the laser gun.
    • Herman referring to the team as "Boot Group".
    • Herman defending some of his statements as figures of speech.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Herman tries to ditch the team several times, and it's Played for Laughs. It's almost like an instinct for him when things get intense.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The thing that was used to possess Mindy once it was removed from its host.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signs of Disrepair: A variant. Woody is wearing a Milford High T-shirt during the football game with the "ORD" part now worn out and barely visible.
  • Slasher Smile: One of the possessed soldiers sports one while in a Car Chase with the team as they start firing at them.
  • Smart People Speak the Queen's English: Invoked as Woody slowly transitions from having a Southern redneck accent at the beginning of the film to a posh, British one after putting on the intelligence-strengthening helmet. They explain that the only reason this is happening is because Woody really believes in this trope.note 
    • There are also a number of jokes cracked about Woody "becoming British", such as him exclaiming "Oh, Queen's beaver!" at one point and suggesting after the final battle that they all get fish and chips.
  • Sprint Shoes: The footwear portion of the armor, worn by Herman.
  • Super-Intelligence: One of the benefits the mental-strengthening helmet has on Woody.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: People possessed by Worg parasites have these.
  • Super-Soldier: Adam was trained from birth in a very Spartan-esque manner to be this, and the suit would've sealed the deal. Without it, however, he's still a very effective Badass Normal version of this.
  • Take That!: One of the news crawls takes a shot at Signs:
    "Citizens flocking to large bodies of water are being advised not to do that. Scientists say that the chances of water being a secret alien weakness are next to zero. One senior advisor notes: 'Why the hell would such aliens invade a planet that's seventy percent water?!'"
  • Tempting Fate: After Herman has an emotional heart-to-heart with Hagan about his football flub, Hagan says that he can't change the past but promises that he'll block whatever's coming for Herman now...right as the possessed soldiers shoot near him.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Zack uses interjections of "Bitch!" throughout the film.
  • Trash the Set: A lot of fight scenes end with the settings they're in getting demolished. The biggest example would have to be Hagan's ex's house, which ends up being blown up.
  • Voice of the Legion: A sign of possession by Worg parasite. Most notable use of this trope is when the team uses a possessed Mindy as an outlet to negotiate about the alien attack.
  • We Need a Distraction: Possessed Mindy brings food for the rest of the guys to distract them from her going after Zach (and his arm cannon).
  • We Used to Be Friends: Herman and Hagan both played football back in high school, and Herman was on the fast track for a scholarship, until Hagan failed to block a tackler, resulting in Herman's leg getting broken, and ending their friendship.
  • Wham Shot: The final showdown with the Worg starts with the Worg Champion dramatically emerging from its spacecraft wearing a full set of power armor identical to the one the Antarians allegedly sent to help the heroes.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: When Woody is unable to start a car as a group of Worg-possessed soldiers are hot on their tracks, they come to the conclusion that someone needs to get out and push, and everyone looks at Herman, who gives off this reaction.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Herman vomits several times during the film from running-induced exhaustion, and we see all of it.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Laser" isn’t spelled with a Z, unless you are these guys.
    • This is pointed out several times in the film, both as a comment on Zach's Facebook post, and Woody comments on it once the helmet makes him smarter.