Sitting down to watch Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix, I wasn't sure what to expect. Sure, the series might skew a bit adult, being on Netflix. But surely, as the series uses a ton of Ubisoft characters and references, it wasn't going to be too over the top. Right?
No, totally wrong. It turns out that series creator and executive producer (and voice actor, but who's counting?) Adi Shankar had pretty much carte blanche from Ubisoft to go berserk with it's properties, mixing and matching elements from across Ubi's franchises to create a wild science fiction story that somehow holds together at the seams. Shankar does not hold back on profanity, violence, and even tosses in a bit of sexy time for good measure, but still maintains a certain level of anarchic charm throughout the proceedings. This show is a ton of fun.
In an alt-future (past?) version of the 1992 United States, robot-armed badass Dolph Laserhawk and his boyfriend Alex Taylor are agents of chaos, mercs for hire in an oppressive land run by evil corporations. When the super buff Alex betrays Dolph (this is no spoiler, it's pretty much shown in every trailer), Laserhawk is captured and imprisoned in Supermaxx, where the warden is assembling a team of n'er-do-well prisoners to act as her private army. Yes, the team has bombs in their heads that will explode if they don't obey, and yes, this plot element seems suspiciously familiar.
This kicks off an insane adventure that twists and turns through the season's six 25-30 minute episodes. I gotta admit, I sat down last Saturday night, expecting to watch one or two of the episodes and ended up sitting there and watching the whole damn series, chortling to myself at the carnage on display.
Captain Laserhawk doesn't shy away from switching out animation styles - sometimes in the middle of scenes - and uses all sorts of visual tricks to keep the proceedings interesting. But though the artistry of animation studio Bobbypills is often breathtaking, it is always in service of the story, which is pretty darn entertaining. I don't want to spoil any surprises, but expect a lot of shocks, including some unexpected characters from Ubisoft's stable that come rolling into the show to shake things up in the most amazing and spectacular ways. I lost count of all of the references, but they come fast and furious. Hell, even Just Dance gets a passing reference.
It's a treat to see video games translate into other media in ways that aren't trashy or exploitative - or at least, they are trashy and exploitative in a good, high-quality way. Fans of Ubisoft and adult animation in general should plan on tuning into this one, if only to thrill at the wild stuff they do with Rayman. It's only a few hours long, and it's well worth your time.
Oh, and the assassin Bullfrog kicks all sorts of ass. I love him, and want a stuffy toy as soon as possible, please.