The latest Netflix Original action comedy, The Out-Laws, is now streaming, but should you give it a watch? Here’s our review of the new action-comedy now streaming globally on Netflix.
It’s been tough out there for fans of action comedies. We used to have nice things.
Beverly Hills Cop. Lethal Weapon. Rush Hour. Bad Boys. Franchises full of fun times and fighting crime.
Then, much like romantic comedies, studios gave up on them, stopped putting them in movie theaters, and shipped them to streaming, if they even made them at all.
Again, much like the romantic comedy genre, Netflix tried to come to the rescue. Unfortunately, they are not very good at it.
Misses like Thunder Force, Red Notice, The Lovebirds, The Man From Toronto, The Last Mercenary, and many more have made audiences cringe at the sight of a comedian holding a gun or looking tough.
Even Adam Sandler’s mega-deal with Netflix has taken multiple swings at these films. Happy Madison has produced the most watched version of these with the Murder Mystery movies, but they have also produced probably the worst of the bunch in Sandler’s The Do-Over. So, at best, they are a mixed bag that hasn’t exactly won over the critics by any stretch of the imagination, including myself.
So when I saw that Netflix and Happy Madison were producing an action comedy with comedian and Workaholics star Adam Devine, whose previous action comedy for Netflix, Game Over, Man!, garnered a whopping 32 out of 100 from Metacritic, I was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of watching it.
When I did watch it, I kept expecting it to turn. “Oh it’s doing well now, but they still have 2 acts to go”. “They have half a movie left, there’s no way this is going to stay like this”. Spoiler alert: It kinda did.
Directed by The Wrong Missy’s Tyler Spindel and written by Evan Turner & Ben Zazove, The Out-laws will surprise you with its deep bench of talented performers, well-choreographed action, and good ol’ fashioned bank robbing, which I am sucker for in every way. While not in the elite category of the action comedy franchises of the 80s, 90s, & early 2000s, it may be one of the more enjoyable entries of the genre in the last five years aka Post Game Night Era.
The film centers around Owen Browning (Adam Devine), a straight-laced bank manager about to marry the love of his life, Parker (Nina Dobrev). When his bank is held up by the infamous Ghost Bandits during his wedding week, he believes his future in-laws (Pierce Brosnan, Ellen Barkin) who just arrived in town, are the infamous Out-Laws.
Though Devine, Brosnon, and Barkin are the big ticket names here, the film is buoyed by its supporting cast led by Nina Dobrev, who is hot off the also surprisingly good Netflix Original Love Hard from a couple of years ago; plus, Richard Kind (Spin City), Julie Hagerty (Airplane!), Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Lauren Lapkus (The Wrong Missy), Blake Anderson (Workaholics), and a breakout performance for the film side of her career from Poorna Jagannathan, who is largely known for her TV work in Netflix’s Never Have I Ever & HBO’s The Night Of and Big Little Lies.
But I won’t sell Devine short. In a role perfectly tailored for his blend of understated and slightly dorky characters he’s created since Workaholics, Devine brings his “aw shucks” frat pledge turned suburban husband energy passed down from the Jason Biggs of the previous era to a well-constructed bank heist plot that he can ham up just enough to make us all smile along.
Overall, The Out-Laws gives the desperate fans of action comedies something to remind them of better days. Weaving layers of subtle laughs & sight gags with the action gravitas of Brosnan, the film does just enough with its impressive cast and zippy pace & plot to give us all what we want from this genre.
Watch The Out-Laws If You Like
- Meet The Parents
- The Other Guys
- Murder Mystery
- We’re The Millers
- Game Night
MVP of Netflix’s The Out-Laws
Richard Kind & Julie Hagerty as Neil & Margie Browning
The classics never go out of style and Richard Kind & Julie Hagerty are two of the best comedic character actors of all time. Both Airplane! films, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Spin City, Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Scrubs. They have done it all for decades.
In The Out-Laws, they play the frustratingly funny parents of Owen Browning (Devine), who openly describe orgies with Dan Marino, bouts with diarrhea, and confusing yoga for stripping. For good measure, they toss in setting themselves on fire in a restaurant and stalling the police in a criminal pursuit. You can never go wrong having these amazing actors in your movie and this might be some of the funniest stuff they’ve done in years.
PLAY, PAUSE, OR STOP? of
Unless you hate fun, bullet-flying action, and bank robbing, this movie should hit the right spot for audiences craving anything passable from the dying art form of action comedy.