I saw Lazer Team 2 (2017) last week, and it’s … a thing. I’ll have a tl;dr at the end. I sometimes do reviews from time to time ( the last review was on Period Panties and the one before that was Riverdale episodes 1 & 2 – haven’t watched the new season yet). Spoilers are in this by the way.
I love Rooster Teeth, that’s how I met my partner, I plan to go to RTX next year in Sydney (so if you’re going hit me up), and I have a lot of their merch (I’m wearing a FunHaus Pornhub shirt as I type this), so you can tell that I love Rooster Teeth with all of my heart, but damn… this movie is, not as good as I’d thought it’d be. I saw Lazer Team 1 (2015) (which from now on we’ll call them LZ1/LZ2 for Lazer Team 1 and 2 cause I’m too lazy to write out the whole name) in cinema when it first came out, and I had a decent time, I was with my boyfriend and friends, it was a good time. I thought it was a decent film and my opinions of LT1 is pretty much the same with LT2 to be honest.
They don’t make as many meta-jokes this time than they did in the first one which I thought was good, the only one I knew of was The Snail Assassin while others were very subtle (had a friend point out a few of them), so I enjoyed that it certainly wasn’t as in your face like it was last time. I did feel like a lot of the jokes fell flat, I enjoyed the space invaders one – that was funny because I was rooting for Officer Vandenbloom (Kirk Johnson) until Mr. Scientest (Gus Sorola) told Mindy Hagan (Alexandria DeBerry) that it was on autopilot. There was a joke about reading a menu that was pretty funny until Dr. Maggie Wittington (Nichole Bloom) pointed out to Herman Mendoza (Colton Dunn) that it’s a menu (which I believe Herman knew).
I felt like the characters were flat and they just didn’t develop at all, I felt like the only one to really kind of develop is Maggie (who I was trying to figure out who she was and looked at her info and there was nothing until I got to video games and she played Emily in Until Dawn, a solid video game) but I kind of hated the weird romance between Wittington and Woodrow “Woody” Johnson (Gavin Free), I felt like because Mindy and Zachary “Zach” Spencer (Michael Jones) weren’t together they needed another romance, it felt rather forced I guess? The character didn’t really change from the beginning, Burnie Burns as Anthony Hagan (Burnie Burns) is still the dad™, Woody changes a bit I suppose – he’s a scientist which is a thing, Zach kind of changes too – he resents the canon because it “ruined” his relationship with Mindy but then he decides to take on that commitment again and join Lazer Team and Herman is the same sleazy money-grubbing character when you meet him at the start of LT2.
The plot felt very predictable too, they don’t want to save their friend, then they save their friend only to captured, they want to go home, they find a way home but have to become Lazer Team again, they don’t and get captured again, bad guy shows up again and attacks, they finally become a team (bad guy is alive for some reason???), big fight (which didn’t feel like a big fight honestly,) still trying to kill the bad guy, and then the bad guy dies and they save the day and he gets the girl. It sucks though; because, the writers, Burns, Daniel Fabelo and Matt Hullum, I feel like they’re good at their craft when it comes to shorts, both Burnie and Hullum have written for Red Vs. Blue which is a solid show and also the Rooster Teeth shorts among others and Fabelo (from what I can see) has only written for LT2, the writers for LT1 was both Burns and Hullum, with Chris Demarais and Josh Flanagan who are good freaking writers. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ‘gay’ joke that Herman said about how he thought Woody was gay just because he hasn’t been with a girl, I mean I don’t get a real sense of his character anyway so I can’t put it down to just “that’s his character”.
The first half an hour was quite boring I would say, I mostly kept this on in the background as I was working on my bullet journal so I wasn’t really paying as much attention to it as I should’ve, but the first half an hour was certainly a but where are they now??? segment including the magazine articles about Mindy and Zach.
It felt predictable in the sense that the bad guy, Major Evelyn Kilbourne (Victoria Pratt), was the brother of Adam (Alan Ritcherson) and she wanted to like ‘avenge his death’ or something of the sorts. It certainly felt … weird, she looks much older than him yet she wasn’t chosen as number 1 and she went on to have a career in the military? But there was no proof of her in the first movie so I feel like they had to have a human bad guy since the alien bad guys wouldn’t be in this movie.
It also felt like there was no marketing for this film, like I saw posts on Roo Teeth Victoria group (Victorian fan group for Rooster Teeth) but didn’t realise the movie was coming out like two weeks ago and I didn’t know when it’d come out on DVD or Red and there it was in my inbox. Marketing for LT1 was kind of easy, because they killed a ton of Kickstarter milestones and such, but I just knew they were working on LT2.
At the end, they made a link to the next movie they’re making and honestly…. could they not? Like it’s great to make another but do you really have to put it in the movie like “hey guys, hey guys, hey, we’re making another movie!!! We’re making another movie!” that’s what I hated about the first movie was they did basically the same thing and it’s just, ugh. I don’t think anyone came out of the cinema thinking “I hope they make a Lazer Team 2”, maybe some did… but I certainly didn’t.
I do have to say, the visual effects were a lot better this time around, the sets looked cool, but it felt quite claustrophobic because they were in rooms a lot of the time and I think there was only maybe 3 or 4 shots that characters were in the open (compared to the first movie where a majority of shots were in the open) and gave me the sense of okay we’re in space, this a spaceship. The makeup was cool too, with the aliens – quite sweet if you ask me.
tl;dr Lazer Team 2 is a film you can turn your brain off for 1 1/2 hours and have a great time. If you weren’t a fan of the first movie you won’t be a fan of the second one; but if you enjoyed the first one you’ll probably find the second one enjoyable. I’d give it a solid 3 1/2 stars.