Don’t let this movie rob you of your time!
“One of the funniest movies of all time”…are not words that will ever be attributed to this misfiring ‘comedy.’ Despite the considerable talents of its comic cast, which includes Julia Hagerty (Airplane), Adam DeVine (The Righteous Gemstones), and Richard Kind (Curb Your Enthusiasm), there are very few laughs to be had as the story plays out, so this is definitely a movie to avoid if you’re looking for a Friday night-kind of movie to tickle your funny bone.
The Out-Laws is a Happy Madison Production so you might already be clued into the fact that this won’t be very good. While the Adam Sandler production studio has given viewers the occasional enjoyable comedy, such as Hubie Halloween and Murder Mystery, which were watchable without being remarkable, much of their output has been terrible.
The Ridiculous Six and Grown Ups are particularly bad but the studio’s worst is quite possibly the David Spade-starring Father of the Year which was directed by Tyler Spindel, the man responsible for the movie that is under review here. The Out-Laws is as lame and unfunny as that laborious effort so if you did see Spindel’s previous movie, don’t be afraid to let it cloud your judgement!
Adam DeVine headlines the cast as Owen, a manager of a small bank who is about to get married to his long-time girlfriend, Parker (Nina Dobrev). The movie begins with a diorama he has created, which represents the seating arrangements for the upcoming wedding. Within the miniature model are action figures which represent the people attending the couple’s big day, such as Skeletor and Medusa as Owen’s parents, He-Man and Pink Power Ranger as Owen and his bride-to-be, and Darth Vader and ET as… well, we can’t be entirely sure! Perhaps Owen has an asthmatic uncle and a cousin who is still hiding in the closet!
This opening section is relatively amusing but just as the toys are (probably) misrepresentative of the actual wedding guests, this first sequence doesn’t represent the rest of the movie which is a mostly laugh-free zone. This is a shame as both the talented cast and the movie’s audience deserve more than what they have been given.
The talents of the usually very funny Richard Kind and Julie Hagerty, who star as Owen’s strait-laced parents, are particularly under-utilized, although they admirably do what they can with the weak material. They are joined in the cast by Ellen Barkin and Pierce Brosnan as Parker’s hipster mom and dad but it’s safe to say these talented actors are slumming it with this one.
In terms of story, this is in the vein of (but nowhere near as funny as) Meet the Parents, with Owen struggling to get along with his in-laws. His strained relationship with them gets worse when he starts to suspect they are The Ghost Bandits, two infamous bank robbers whose most recent heist took place at the bank where he works. He reports his suspicions to an alcoholic FBI agent (Michael Rooker) and then, for reasons that are too boring to explain, becomes an ‘outlaw’ himself when he is forced to take part in a bank robbery that requires him to dress up as Shrek!
I appreciate a green-skinned Adam DeVine might sound hilarious but despite his ability for exaggerated facial expressions and slapstick comedy, he doesn’t raise many laughs here, despite his best efforts. This is largely due to the movie’s underwhelming setpieces and the lazy writing that goes overboard with its expletive-laden dialogue and crass attempts at humour.
The occasional F-bomb can raise a laugh when put in the context of a funny situation but here, they are dropped so frequently that they quickly become wearying. And the laboured attempts at comedy, which include scenes of Owen spontaneously vomiting and a moment when he accidentally grabs the crotch of his father-in-law while skydiving, aren’t particularly chucklesome.
Other attempts at hilarity include a scene when Owen violently kicks a dog into a window, a destructive car chase sequence through a cemetery, a moment when a luckless criminal gets his head blown off, and an improvised (and eye-rolling) Bond reference from Brosnan that is directly related to his own time as the super-spy. Oh, and there’s also a jokey mention of how good the food court is at the local Holocaust Museum. Hilarious, right? No, not at all! The filmmakers want us to laugh at these scenes but they are indicative of the movie as a whole which is witless, dull, and borderline offensive.
The Out-Laws is one of the worst movies I have seen in quite some time so can in no way be recommended, even if you’re a fan of the other movies that are headlined with the Happy Madison banner. Sadly, it’s currently the most-watched movie on Netflix, which means we will likely get a sequel at some point or another half-baked effort from the Sandler-owned studio. And that, I’m sure you’ll agree, is no way for the streaming giant to spend the hard-earned money you spent on their hiked-up subscription fees!
Read More: The Out-Laws Ending Explained
Verdict - 2/10