Unclench your buttholes, it’s a good movie, yo.
Now that you’ve breathed your collective sighs of relief, let me just blurge out some thoughts I had as I watched it and mulled it over.
So it’s not perfect. No media is, but the flaws didn’t coincide with any of my particular pet peeves. I would have liked more Herman and Hagan interaction since their dynamic and backstory was one of my favorites in the movie. Mindy needed to be more important, since as it was she was really only that vital to the plot for a handful of scenes. Sometimes the CGI was really conspicuous, Not in a way that was too distracting, but the aliens in particular looked like video game characters walking around next to real people. So those are the major flaws, but like I said, none of those intersected with any particular pet peeves of mine.
There’s a lot of good in this movie, more than balancing out that stuff. The dynamic between the characters is great, especially between the guys in the actual Lazer Team and, as the movie progresses, with Adam. While you don’t need to have watched other RT content to like this movie, you’ll notice an in-joke or reference here or there, and structurally the group character arc will be a little familiar to RvB fans – Characters don’t get along or work well together and suck at everything, as the movie goes they start to get along and work well together and that makes them at least passably competent. The plot is actually fresh and new, with twists I was completely blindsided by (in a good way) that merit a second viewing even on their own. When the characters act dumb or cowardly or like pricks it makes sense for the characters to do that in context based on the information they have.
In fact, as always for anything Burnie has a hand in writing, the characters are easily the best part. They develop – not as far as 13 years of RvB characters but they do – and from beginning to end each one is distinctive and entertaining, and feel like they could be real people. Real dumb and/or asshole-y people at first, but real people you feel like you could meet at an H-E-B somewhere. I found myself immediately invested in all four of the Lazer Team guys, and all the side characters either got appropriate laughs or had neat dramatic moments (the head of a group of soldiers who do a thing that is pretty important is so deliberately overacted that it just works perfectly for both humor and drama).
As a sci-fi action comedy made by Rooster Teeth about a team of incompetents needing to learn to work together as a cohesive unit, comparisons to RvB are inevitable. Alternating in tone between funny and dramatic without ever missing a beat or feeling scattered, check. Characters being the focus of a plot that winds up more complex than it lets on? Check. Tasteful and tasteless masturbation jokes? Check. A surprising amount of heart to the story despite the deliberate silliness of the elevator pitch I gave at the start of this paragraph? Hell yeah.
So overall, not flawless but a very good movie you should absolutely go see.