- Dangerous Lies
- Directed by Michael Scott
- Written by David Golden
- Starring Camila Mendes, Jessie T. Usher and Elliott Gould
- Classification N/A; 96 minutes
Given that Netflix desires to be everything to everyone, I can pinpoint a few target audiences for the streaming giant’s new film, Dangerous Lies. First: fans of the teen soap Riverdale, given that both star the charismatic Camila Mendes. Second: audiences who used to gobble up cheaply made movies-of-the-week on broadcast television but have been missing those flinty productions ever since cutting the cord. Third: Um, Elliott Gould’s mortgage broker? Maybe?
If you don’t fall into any one of the above camps, then you can safely bypass this ultra-generic thriller, which looks like it cost the amount of your monthly Netflix subscription and is as satisfying to watch as it is paying that particular bill.
From its lazy title down to its yes-we-all-saw-that-coming third-act twist, Dangerous Lies offers a particularly boring kind of last-resort viewing. The deficiency is evident right from the start, when a young married couple (Mendes and Jessie T. Usher) stumble into a plot that feels like a dollar-store version of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out: After a wealthy loner (Gould) dies suddenly, his kindly caregiver (Mendes) inherits his giant house and entire fortune, much to the suspicions of a local cop. Eventually, a bag of diamonds, a rotting corpse and an aggressive realtor (Cam Gigandet) get tossed into the mix, with unintentionally ridiculous results.
A quick glance at the film’s credits reveal the film’s provenance: its director Michael Scott (not the boss from The Office, though ... that would make sense) has made a name for himself directing all manner of forgotten made-for-TV movies with titles like Deadly Visions and Fatal Lessons, while its writer David Golden has done the same, with an emphasis on Hallmark’s yuletide-focused features. Which means I just found a fourth demographic who might be interested in Dangerous Lies. Get ready for the worst Christmas ever, folks.
Dangerous Lies is available to stream on Netflix starting April 28
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