Current Issue #488

Film Review:
Dangerous Lies

‘Young Adult’ audiences deserve better than this thriller from director Michael M Scott, which is about as as flat and uninspired as its ho-hum title. 

Featuring foolish characters, improbable plot twists, dopey dialogue and an all-pervading fear of offending anyone, this might still be enjoyed by anyone out there who has no damn idea what suspense is.

A pair of young marrieds, Katie Franklin (Camila Mendes from TV’s Riverdale) and Adam Kettner (Jessie T. Usher from TV’s The Boys), are struggling to pay their bills down Chicago way (although this was actually shot in Canada for budgetary reasons). After a brief, goofy introduction at the diner where aspiring social worker Katie toils, the pair nip out for nookie and return to foil a robbery which doesn’t seem to have any bearing on anything (and no need for spoilers too).

Cut to four months later and Katie is now working as caregiver for the elderly Leonard Wellesly, and he’s played by 1970s ‘New Hollywood’ icon Elliott Gould, who brings the movie to life for a too-short while. Producer/screenwriter David Golden’s script goes overboard showing how nice and principled Katie is and how she rejects kindly Leonard’s offers of cash to help pay off her many debts, and then Leonard goes and dies (again, no spoilers necessary), leaving Katie and Adam the house and a whole new series of convoluted problems.

All this plot is pretty humdrum, so a raft of new types start milling about to hopefully spice things up, including helpful attorney Julia Byron-Kim (Jamie Chung), would-be-menacing real estate agent Mickey Hayden (Cam Gigandet, who specialises in low-rent heavies) and the understandably suspicious Detective Chesler (Sasha Alexander). It’s not clear who they should trust, and it’s hard for us to care much as well.

Mendes and Usher are okay here and yet it’s hard to like the glum pair they portray, which means that it falls to Gould to inject some warmth and humour into the proceedings, and he does, for maybe three scenes before Leonard kicks the bucket. And, once he’s gone, everything descends into blah-ness once again.

Let’s face it, if the lies were really that dangerous, one might hope they’d be a little bit more memorable.

Reviewer Rating

Dangerous Lies (M) is now streaming on Netflix

DM Bradley

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