From the writer of Tooth Fairy 2 and Sherlock Gnomes comes a new Netflix action rom-com for the raunchy R-rated set: The Out-Laws. Enjoyment of this surprisingly fun film will rely solely on one’s tolerance for actor Adam DeVine. Much of the humor leans on DeVine’s usual schtick (see: Workaholics, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, or Pitch Perfect), which just so happens to include lots of manic screaming, sing-song banter, and barfing. Of course, The Out-Laws has much more to offer than just DeVine’s frequently hilarious antics. Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin often steal the show as the parents of the bride; the rest of the ensemble includes Nina Dobrev, Julie Hagerty, Richard Kind, Lil Rel Howery, and Michael Rooker.
As their wedding day approaches, Owen (DeVine) presents a 3D seating chart of action figures to stand in for their wedding guests to his fiancé, Parker (Dobrev). If anything, filling the table with pop culture characters certainly spruces up the opening credits, as the camera pans across everyone from Ren and Stimpy to Darth Vader. It is here when Parker drops a surprising bit of news on Owen: her absent parents, whom Owen has still not met after all this time, will actually be attending the wedding!
Whereas Owen’s cranky parents view Parker as a stripper despite Owen repeatedly telling them she’s the owner of a successful yoga studio, Parker’s parents know absolutely nothing about Owen. Their arrival isn’t exactly smooth either—as Owen sings to himself about “boinking” their daughter, Lilly (Barkin) approaches from behind. She ends up flipping Owen over her head when he tries to hit her with a piece of bread, thinking her an intruder. Things with Billy (Brosnan) do not go any better: Billy kisses Owen right on the mouth as a greeting. Owen takes off the next day to show them around, but booking pottery museums for the adventurous couple appears to be the last thing they want. Instead, they end up going sky diving, getting tattoos, and bar-hopping.
During his shift as bank manager, two suspicious characters rob Owen’s bank. They throw off many red flags, seeming to give off similar energy to Owen’s new in-laws. After noting Billy has smelled like “sandalwood and danger,” he picks up a similar scent off one of the robbers. Can rhyming-named Billy and Lilly actually be the “Ghost Bandits,” known as the most notorious bank robbers in history? Can Owen prove to Parker that her parents are not all they appear to be, while evading the prying eye of Agent Oldham (Rooker)?
The Out-Laws drops James Bond references, and features an outrageous heist-gone-awry sequence that involves a pretty convincing Shrek costume. Chemistry between the actors is also delightful, with DeVine/Barkin/Brosnan in particular making a great trio. Visual sight gags are no stranger to director Tyler Spindel, whose The Wrong Missy was pretty much nothing but gags. Here, Spindel fine-tunes the formula, letting his ensemble cast do the heavy lifting. The Out-Laws may not be a pitch-perfect comedy—it gives Dobrev almost nothing to do, and its tertiary characters could have used a polish. Still, for a Happy Madison production, The Out-Laws is a cutesy cemetery-smashing blast that sits nicely alongside others including Hustle, Murder Mystery, and The Do-Over.
Come to meet The Out-Laws on Friday, July 7th, exclusively on Netflix.