Movie Review: The Out-Laws

A winning cast can’t save a dud of a script in Netflix’s quickie comedy.


If this group of people had simply improvised a movie, it would’ve been funnier than “The Out-Laws.”

“The Out-Laws” was dumped unceremoniously onto the rapidly drying streaming landscape today by Netflix and director Tyler Spindel, an in-house filmmaker with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions. The by-the-numbers premise follows awkward-yet-theoretically-endearing doofus Owen (Adam Devine) as he approaches marriage with out-of-his-league yoga instructor Parker (Nina Dobrev).

Parker’s errant parents (Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin) turn up the week of the wedding, and wouldn’t you know it: They’re bank robbers. A convoluted series of events forces the graying bandits to rob the bank that Owen manages, then take the panicky lad along with them on an even bigger heist to save the wedding.

The cast assembled for this clunker is fairly stacked. Michael Rooker turns up as a long-suffering FBI agent. Lauren Lapkus steals the show as a rival bank manager. As Owen’s parents, Richard Kind and Julie Hagerty mine humor from thin air. Lil Rel Howery is forced to rip off his own character from “Get Out,” but does so with charm.

Do all those folks, y’know, try? Absolutely not. It’s clear that most of them figured out this dog couldn’t hunt — though Devine, desperate to keep clawing his way up the Hollywood ladder, goes all out anyway.

The culprits are a pair of under-experienced writers, Ben Zazove — whose previous career high point was the forgotten animated flick “Sherlock Gnomes” — and Evan Turner, a freshman screenwriter. There’s no earthly reason why a pair of extra hands was necessary to churn out a script so thin, especially with any number of skilled comedy writers already on set; Lapkus is one of the great undersung comedy minds, and Devine is a seasoned creator as well.

As it is, there’s a desperate lack of actual jokes. If your idea of comedy is screaming, mayhem and the occasional sharp line delivery, you may find enough juice in “The Out-Laws” to, say, pay partial attention while folding laundry; otherwise, go watch an actual comedy.

My Rating: 3/10

“The Out-Laws” is now streaming on Netflix.

Categories: Sean Collier’s Popcorn for Dinner