Netflix’s latest movie is The Out-Laws, teaming Workaholics’s Adam DeVine with former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, and Ellen Barkin (who most recently appeared in Poker Face).
DeVine plays Owen Browning, a bank manager with a keen interest in security systems who is about to be married to his long-time girlfriend Parker McDermott (Nina Dobrev). As the wedding approaches, he learns that Parker’s parents – who he’s never met – are coming. Owen tries to be a good host, but fails to impress her family, and in trying to keep them entertained gets drunk and spills all his bank’s security secrets. The next day he is robbed by the Ghost Bandits who know their way around his system, though Owen quickly picks up on clues as to their identity.
The Ghost Bandits owe money to an old partner – played by Poorna Jagannathan, best known for Netflix’s own Never Have I Ever – who kidnaps Parker and gives a deadline to receive $5 million. Owen joins up with his future in-laws for a series of heists to save the love of his life.
The Out-Laws is not a surprising movie, it establishes quickly the kind of goofy archetype it wants Owen to remain in, and contrasts him with the more serious McDermotts. That interaction positions most of the comedy, contrasting the more conventional action heroes against the comedy protagonist – memorably in the first bank heist the trio perform together. The Out-Laws remains enjoyable throughout, pacing out its story quite well and featuring a strong cast – including Richard Kind, Julie Hagerty, Michael Rooker, Lil Rel Howery, Lacy Mosley and DeVine’s Workaholics co-star Blake Anderson.
Apple TV+ meanwhile returns to The Afterparty with a brand-new season of the Rashomon genre mash-up murder mystery. The first season of The Afterparty introduced us to Sam Richardson’s Aniq, an escape room designer who returned to his high school reunion in the hopes of running into old flame Zoë and kindling a romance – only to be one of the prime suspects in the murder of an old classmate who had become a superstar celebrity. The show presented eight different perspectives of the same night, with one lying, in a variety of different genre styles – Aniq’s romantic comedy, a musical, an action movie, a thriller, a children’s show, and so on.
This season features a new murder mystery – it begins with Aniq and Zoë attending Zoë’s sister’s wedding – only for the groom to turn up dead. With Grace, the bride, looking like the most likely suspect, Aniq calls up now retired detective Danner – a returning Tiffany Haddish – to get her help to solve the mystery and recounts his own tale – once again playing as a romantic comedy. The show promises other genres, including a period drama, surrealism and film noir, this time stretched over 10 episodes.
Like the first season, The Afterparty has recruited a fantastic cast to lead this anthology mystery.
The returning Haddish, Richardson and Zoë Chao are joined by Ken Jeong, John Cho, Paul Walter Hauser, Elizabeth Perkins, Poppy Liu, Vivian Wu, Jack Whitehall, Anna Konkle, Vivian Wu, and Zach Woods.
Prime Video meanwhile has added the sci-fi comedy Robots – also featuring Jack Whitehall. Robots is set in the near future, in which the United States has finally closed its border to Mexico – and immediately replaced all migrant work with robot workers – which extend to several more ‘menial’ jobs (we glimpse sanitation workers, customs officials, and catering staff jobs all taken by robots) – while the rich use robots to create doubles of themselves to remove responsibilities from their lives.
Whitehall stars as Charles Cameron, who has abandoned his job to his robot double, and who spends his days playing video games and being waited on by his double. Charles uses his double – C2 – to do his job, as well as go on dates, which he’ll only swap out for when sex is on the table.
Charles’s womanising puts him in the sights of Elaine – played by Shailene Woodley – who, like Charles, uses a robot double to make her life easier. Elaine is a gold-digger. She strings along several men at a time to pay her rent and buy her expensive handbags and designer dresses. Her double, E2, is used to get her out of having sex with her bevy of suitors.
After a mix-up, Charles and Elaine accidentally set-up C2 and E2 together, and the two robots fall in love and run off together, endangering the life of luxury Charles and Elaine have cultivated for themselves.
Despite the premise, Robots is a fairly standard rom-com, setting up two reprehensible leads who need to learn to get along, and then better themselves over the course of the movie. Things move fairly quickly, and allow plenty of absurd scenarios to play out.