The last/least line of defense
John (TV journeyman Andrew Bowen) is a divorced dad who just wants to do the right thing by his son, but his job's demanding hours make it hard for him to be there when his son wants to do things like watch a comet. That's because John works for the government's Asteroid Management Initiative, a secret organization that remotely pilots satellites in order to destroy space rocks headed for a collision with the Earth. John works with a crew of misfits in a bunker falling apart due to budget cuts, and when he's called in on his night off, it's the last straw for him, so he checks out mentally. That leaves his team, lead by Alison (Felicia Day), the by-the-book member of the group, to fend for themselves when things go bad. And with a government budget manager visiting with an automated system ready to replace them, naturally things go very wrong.
Though John is the star of the story, rookie asteroid fighter Danny (YouTube star Kenny Wu) gets his own arc, as he battles insecurities and the pressures of following in his perfect father's footsteps, challenges that are in his face in the form of the obnoxious Seth (21 & Over's Justin Chon), a pro-gamer who is constantly challenging his more delicate teammate. Seth's bullying naturally ties in with the team's struggles, and puts him in direct conflict with Alison, who refuses to accept his behavior and attitude. While they work out their issues, Tom Collins, the team's oldest and drunkest member (40-Year-Old Virgin scene-stealer Gerry Bednob) tosses in comedy bombs, a mysterious figure hangs in the background with his even-more-mysterious Rube Goldberg device, and Jason Mewes and Robert Picardo play a pair of chatty security guards without much to do.
That seems like a lot going on, but most of it is just distracting from the main story, which often takes a back seat to Danny's tale. The mix of plots has a negative effect on the tone of the film, which wants to be somewhat serious about John's family situation and the importance of the team's jobs (resulting in a loud, yet never very dramatic space battle), yet the presence of Seth opens the film up to plenty of scatalogical humor and the guards are just silly. Better balance between the two extremes might have helped make the flow of the story work better, but so much of what happens doesn't have much lasting meaning to the overall plot. That's unfortunate, because there are some genuinely funny people in this cast, and they get off some good lines, but overall it's rather forgettable, the kind of film you'll watch if it's on HBO at two in the morning.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track keeps the dialogue clear in the center channel and feeds a near-constant stream of beeps and bloops to the surrounds, but when the big guns are firing, the sound effects are disappointingly limited to the center channel, while the surrounds get the score. There's nothing technically wrong with the presentation, but the mix isn't nearly dynamic enough.
Also included is the film's trailer.
The Bottom Line