Monday, July 10, 2023

The Out-Laws (2023)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Out-Laws (2023)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Length:  1h 35min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Happy Madison Productions, Netflix
Director: Tyler Spindel
Writers: Evan Turner, Ben Zazove
Actors: Poorna Jagannathan, Ellen Barkin, Nina Dobrev, Adam Devine, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Rooker, Lauren Lapkus, Richard Kind, Julie Howery, Blake Anderson, Derek Russo, Laci Mosley
IMDb Blurb: A straight-laced bank manager about to marry the love of his life. When his bank is held up by infamous Ghost Bandits during his wedding week, he believes his future in-laws who just arrived in town, are the infamous Out-Laws.

Selina’s Point of View:
With Adam Devine involved, I knew the cringe-factor on The Out-Laws would be high. Although cringe is not my preferred form of comedy, I was ready to give it a chance. Devine does have some endearing qualities that can sometimes outweigh the cringe.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in The Out-Laws.
I would have given The Out-Laws some lee-way if it had inspired any laughter at all. Even uncomfortable laughter would have worked because I know some people dig that kind of thing. I didn’t laugh at all. Not for even a second during any part of the film. For the majority, my face was stuck in a permanent cringe.
It was awful.
The trailer is the best thing about The Out-Laws. Save yourself the time and just find that on Youtube.
Cat’s Point of View:
I’ll be frank. The Out-laws was ostensibly fairly hard to watch with a straight face - or even a smiling one, really. Of course, with a comedy feature, you’d hope people aren’t staring deadpan at the screen but laughing, instead. I had a few chuckles here and there, but ultimately This movie was a hot mess cringe-fest. 

Let’s start with the few positives I have to offer, though. 

When we saw the trailer for The Out-laws, I found it funny but, realistically I realized that Adam Devine’s (The Lego Batman Movie,. Isn't It Romantic, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin) involvement was going to make the film, on the whole, a little dicey because he was pretty much the main character. He’s very talented, just not generally to my taste. I tend to get annoyed when I see him on the screen. Now, don’t get me wrong - his performance in Green Eggs and Ham (2019-2022) where he voiced Sam I Am was great. It’s just the live-action stuff that goes off the rails.
I was hoping that the rest of the outstanding cast would help elevate everything around him and help it work overall, so I listed The Out-laws as a hopeful #12 on my personal Top 20 list in this month’s article. Maybe I was just a little too loopy-generous with that placement, considering I was in the hospital at the time. I digress…

This cast was stacked with actors I really enjoy. I fell in love with Nina Dobrev (xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Run This Town, Redeeming Love) during The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017). (In fact, I keep procrastinating on finishing the final season that ended years ago because I don’t want to acknowledge it’s over.) Pierce Brosnan (Riverdance: The Animated Adventure, The Misfits, The King's Daughter) is amazing in action and heist roles - or really anything. I’m absolutely biased, admittedly. I was excited he got to use his real accent, too. Ellen Barkin (The Cobbler, Animal Kingdom, The Man from Toronto) was solid, and the combination of Richard Kind (tick tick...BOOM!, Beau is Afraid, American Dad) and Julie Hagerty (Instant Family, Marriage Story, A Christmas Story Christmas) was hilarious. Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, F9: The Fast Saga, White Elephant) was even involved! I had no complaints about any of their involvement.

The best moments of The Out-laws for me were scenes where references to the cast’s past work were involved. I adore Easter Eggs. I spent the rest of the time generally face-palming and talking to the screen because of the moronic bumbling of Devine’s character. 

I get that his character was supposed to be like that, painted as the doofus but likable underdog. I just couldn’t get into it enough to suspend disbelief on several plot-holes wide enough to park a Winnebago in. That's not even taking into account the general predictability of the overall story. The "twists" weren't twisty at all.

As it stands, I probably won’t watch this one again because there are plenty of other comedy heist movies out there that I would enjoy repeating, and I’ve got a to-watch and to-read list a mile long that would take precedent. My almost 20-year-old daughter was a bit meh as the credits were rolling, as well. Take that as you will. 

If you like Devine’s brand of humor steered by the Happy Madison folks, and have enjoyed his previous team-ups with his buddy Blake Anderson (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Voltron: Legendary Defender, Game Over Man!), The Out-laws might just tickle your fancy a bit more than it did for me. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 20%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 43%
Metascore – 36%
Metacritic User Score – 3.5/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 1/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2/5

P.S. -  There is a small additional scene during the beginning of the credits. 
Movie Trailer:

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