"Workaholics" star and Happy Madison make for a "Devine" combo.
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I had understandably low expectations coming into the latest Happy Madison Netflix release “The Out-Laws” (now streaming), but I must admit the flick is amusing more often than not and amounted to what’s a very pleasant surprise.
Adam Devine stars as bank manager Owen Browning. Owen’s engaged to yoga instructor Parker McDermott (Nina Dobrev). His folks Neil (Richard Kind) and Margie (Julie Hagerty) are a constant fixture in their lives. Her folks Billy (Pierce Brosnan) and Lilly (Ellen Barkin) aren’t.
It comes as a surprise when Billy and Lilly turn up to attend the couple’s wedding. Unfortunately, Billy and Lilly’s presence draws the attention of their former business associate Rehan (Poorna Jagannathan) to whom they’re indebted.
It turns out Billy and Lilly have made their living as infamous bank robbers the Ghost Bandits (arguably a cooler title than the Wet or Sticky Bandits) and Rehan’s going to force their hand in sticking up Owen’s branch drawing the attention of FBI Agent Roger Oldham (Michael Rooker).
“The Out-Laws” is directed by Tyler Spindel (he previously helmed the David Spade-starring Happy Madison vehicles “Father of the Year” and “The Wrong Missy”) and penned by producer-turned-screenwriter Evan Turner and Ben Zazove (this winner had a hand in writing Larry the Cable Guy’s “Tooth Fairy 2” and “Sherlock Gnomes”). It’s a huge improvement over Spindel’s prior projects in that it’s actually funny.
Mileage may vary depending upon how well you like Devine. I’m a fan of his dating back to “Workaholics” and find his high-strung, neurotic energy entertaining. He’s ably supported by Kind (whose character has more than one trait in common with this critic including the overuse of his turn signal, which had my wife rolling) and Hagerty (she’s an old pro at the yuks and yucks between the “Airplane” flicks and “Freddy Got Fingered”). Brosnan and Barkin have proven their comedic bonafides in the past (he with “The Matador,” she with “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and “Ocean’s 13”) and they both gamely bring it here. Unfortunately for Dobrev, who’s admittedly an appealing performer, she’s saddled with a fairly one-note role in which the character’s either in disbelief at Owen’s claims against her parents or playing damsel in distress.
The cool cast is rounded out by Lil Rel Howery (he plays Tyree, the security guard at Owen’s bank, and is the funniest he’s been since his breakout in “Get Out”) and Devine’s “Workaholics” co-star Blake Anderson (he’s RJ, Owen’s druggie EMT of a cousin).
Fans of Happy Madison’s productions, Blink-182 and “Shrek” will have plenty to glom onto. My biggest strike against the movie is that it’s screaming out for a Dan Marino cameo that never comes. “The Out-Laws” should make for a no fuss, no muss Friday or Saturday night watch – turn off your brain, pop some corn and/or order a pie, crack a coupla cold ones and let the good times roll.