The Out-Laws (2023) Movie reviewor movie run by Tyler Spindelwritten by Ben Zazove AND Evan Turner and playing Adam Devine, Nina Dobrev, Pierce Brosnan, Ellen Barkin, Michael Rooker, Poorna Jagannathan, Richard Kind, Julie Hagerty, Blake Anderson, Lauren Lapkas, Lil Rel Howery, Dean Winters, Laci Mosley, AND Jablon, Peggy Walton-Walker, Mo Gallini AND Jackie Sandler.
Adam Sandler’s production company is behind Harvard graduate filmmaker Tyler Spindel’s wild, disturbing and hilarious new comedy. Outlaws. But Sandler is no fool. He gave his wife, Jackie, two of the film’s biggest laughs. Jackie Sandler plays a wedding cake shop owner who presents a type of red velvet cake as “better than sex.” This opinion is hysterically expressed in the film and sounds funnier than it can be read here. Then, as some bad guys with guns come into the candy store shooting him, Jackie Sandler’s character takes some red syrup and pours it around his neck to make it look like he’s dead. I have to admit that these two parts were so funny that it’s easy to forget how wrong it is to smile at the bad message that Outlaws can send to its viewers. This is the kind of movie that one could easily enjoy if they didn’t have the proper sense of morality. This movie is trying to offend people as well as entertain them at the same time and, at times, it does so successfully.
Adam Devine has built a career on having an annoying personality. It has been marketed that way since its closing scene Pitch Perfect 2 opposite Christina Aguilera. IN Outlaws, he’s actually pretty likable for most of the movie, especially when he goes to rob a bank dressed as Shrek and saves an overweight man who’s been trying to beat him up through CPR. Devine carries a lot Outlaws on his back and tries to save face hoping no one in the audience will notice how offensive it all is.
Devine plays a bank manager named Owen Browning who is in love with a sweet yoga instructor named Parker McDermott (Nina Dobrev). This couple plans to get married and Parker’s parents (Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin) mysteriously agree to attend the wedding the day after the parents had originally said they would not attend. The in-laws would actually be bank robbers and outlaws; hence the film’s title.
Michael Rooker plays FBI agent Oldham, who is apparently investigating Parker’s parents. Although Rooker’s character represents law enforcement, he is treated more or less as a joke in the film. Rooker isn’t bad in the role, but the part is poorly conceived. We should try to at least help our main hero, Owen, but Oldham unfortunately gets lost in the mix for the most part.
Julie Hagerty e Airplane! Fame is moderately funny in a thankless role as Owen’s mother, Margie. Her funniest scene comes when she climbs into the back seat of a car instead of getting out and going to the back seat like a normal person would. Hagerty has built a career on eccentricity and fits right in here.
Brosnan and Barkin have their moments, to be sure, as bank robbers/potential father-in-laws. Both these talents have been in big movies. Brosnan has had some memorable roles throughout his career, but has never been an actor who has received the glory he deserves as a serious actor, except when he played James Bond and co-starred in Oh mom!. Brosnan’s best supporting dramatic work was in Remember me which was savaged by critics. This new movie won’t help his career much. His efforts to have fun in the role in Outlaws get bogged down by the serious nature of the crimes committed in the film and the fact that if the character played by Brosnan cared about his daughter’s safety, he would never have appeared in the first place. Ellen Barkin’s best work was in The Sea of Love opposite Al Pacino and Barkin has always been underrated as an actress. However, it ends up getting lost in the shuffle Outlaws. She has a few funny lines and that’s about it.
The big sequence in the Outlaws that may anger viewers includes the stolen bank money flying out of the back of the vehicle carrying the loot. That would be crazy enough, but then the vehicle drives through a cemetery knocking over headstones. This scene may offend people more than it makes them laugh. If offensive scenes like this were to be rethought, then maybe Outlaws it would have worked a little better.
Nina Dobrev has plenty of charm to spare and she and Devine make a cute couple. It would be nice to see a movie about them trying to have a nice wedding with their families. But, Outlaws it’s not that movie. Instead, we’re left with a comedy/action hybrid that could have been something like this Gross Pointe Blank if it didn’t offend so much. It’s a close call, but unfortunately, Outlaws loses her way in her madness.
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