‘The Out-Laws’: Cast & Crew
Director: Tyler Spindel
Cast: Adam DeVine, Pierce Brosnan, Ellen Barkin, Nina Dobrev, Michael Rooker, Poorna Jagannathan, Richard Kind, Julie Hagerty, Blake Anderson, Lauren Lapkus, Lil Rel Howery, Dean Winters, Laci Mosley, Daniel Andrew Jablons, Sunny Sandler, Peggy Walton-Walker, Mo Gallini, Jackie Sandler, Betsy Sodaro
Available On: Netflix
Duration: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
‘The Out-Laws’: Story
A strait-laced bank manager (Adam DeVine) is about to marry the love of his life (Nina Dobrev). However, his bank is robbed by the infamous Ghost Bandits during his wedding week. Things lead to him believing that his future in-laws (Pierce Brosnan, Ellen Barkin) who just arrived in town, are the infamous Out-Laws. Is he correct about his in-laws? Will he be able to convince his would-be wife that his parents may be criminals? Will the entire thing blow out in his face and leave him facepalmed? Will there even be a wedding eventually? Will the Ghost Bandits ever get caught by the cops? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch ‘The Out-Laws’.
‘The Out-Laws’: Performances
Adam DeVine is the best part of this film. Despite having stellar performers like Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin opposite him, he stood tall and gave out a performance that’s worthy of the hilarity that he is known for. His straight-faced humour combined with a lot of physical slapstick comedy comes out well onscreen. Even though there is not too much depth into the character, he fits the bill perfectly and that’s what makes the role come out so well onscreen.
Pierce Brosnan has lost a lot of the charm that he used to have as James Bond, yet he manages to gobble up a great persona onscreen. However, his image as the famous spy is so evident and well-splashed in audiences’ minds that you find it difficult to fathom him playing second fiddle in a film. ‘The Out-Laws’ could have been a great opportunity for him as the character wasn’t a spy but was living an adventurous and thrilling life, which suited his persona. However, there is barely a lot of delving into the character’s past life. Now, his character sounds more like that of an old cocka who keeps complaining about every damn thing.
Ellen Barkin doesn’t have too much memorable going on but her character does have enough swagger for her to look cool onscreen. It’s quite a straightforward character and with minimal effort, she just breezes through it.
There’s absolutely no reason why someone of the stature of Nina Dobrev decided to pick a role that was more or less an extended cameo. Her character doesn’t have the screen time that a leading lady deserves. She is just barely there. She doesn’t even have that many dialogues so to make it worth it for her to be in the film.
None of the supporting characters is worthy enough of a mention, as they feel more forced than anything else in the script.
‘The Out-Laws’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
The writing by Evan Turner and Ben Zazove is the weakest link of the film. It’s touted to be a comedy but there are very few instances where there is actual hilarity. Most of the slapstick humour is too 2000s and isn’t too funny in today’s times. The film tries to achieve the screwball intent of the ‘Meet The Parents’ franchise but isn’t able to reach anywhere close to it and falls flat on its face. It’s more so because the writing relies too much on the performance of Adam DeVine rather than being creative enough to bring on its own humour.
Tyler Spindel tries his level best to lift up a script that’s too slapstick and make it look worthy of today’s audiences. Sadly, his intentions don’t land up perfectly, and it comes out as a very amateurish effort on his part. Once again, he relies heavily on Adam DeVine’s performance to uplift the comedy, which ideally shouldn’t be.
The cinematography by Michael Bonvillain could have been so much better. It’s a story about a bank robbery, and there is not a single chase sequence. Shouldn’t the audience feel cheated? It could have had so many high-flying car chases shown in drone shots coupled with numerous slow-motion shots of bullets flying and missing the targets. Sadly, none of that happens. Michael Bonvillain has made it just too boring by playing safe.
Thankfully, Ian Kezsbom and Phillip Kimsey’s editing is decent. They’ve managed to keep the film tight and wrap it up in just over an hour and a half. The story was anyways dragging, but had it been a bit longer, it would have gone into the pathetic zone.
Rupert Gregson-Williams’s music and background score is decent. It does help you transport a bit to the story, but there’s nothing too much on offer to make it stand out and memorable.
‘The Out-Laws’: Can Kids Watch It?
In any film or show, the script and direction should be so good that it uplifts the actor’s performance to an even better level. In ‘The Out-Laws’ it’s just the actor (Adam DeVine) trying to carry the weight of a sloppy script and amateurish direction on his shoulders and trying to make it work. Sadly, despite his best efforts, the film falls flat. Adam DeVine is the only good thing about this utterly forgetful crime comedy. This is at best a Below Average Watch. I am going with 1.5 stars.