Dangerous Lies evaluate: A Netflix thriller that does precisely what it says

Dangerous Lies review: A Netflix thriller that does exactly what it says

As the title implies, the Netflix thriller Dangerous Lies has loads of twists and turns, however maybe probably the most startling factor about it’s that it briefly stars Elliott Gould. Gould is an performing legend, acquainted from films like The Long Goodbye and Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s collection. His latest work — Ruby Sparks, an Ocean’s 8 cameo, a run on Showtime’s drama Ray Donovan — makes it clear that he hasn’t misplaced his contact, however his efficiency in Dangerous Lies isn’t an addition to the Gould dramatic canon, a lot as a pattern of how he would possibly carry off a Sesame Street look. His supply is deliberate and exaggerated, hammering residence the truth that his character, Leonard, is a kindly outdated man who simply needs what’s greatest for his caretaker Katie (Riverdale’s Camila Mendes). As it seems, nonetheless, he isn’t sleepwalking via a Knives Out knock-off; he’s giving this drama-heavy, logic-light film precisely the form of efficiency it wants.

When his character all of a sudden dies, a lawyer (Jamie Chung) seems at his funeral, saying Leonard made a will just some days prior, and left his home to Katie. It looks like a stroke of fine fortune for Katie and her husband Adam (Jessie T. Usher), who’ve been scuffling with cash. But the flip of occasions is simply too good to be true. As they uncover a trunk full of cash within the attic, and a shady real-estate agent (Cam Gigandet) who retains exhibiting up, badgering them to promote the home to his unnamed consumer, crimson flags begin going up left and proper.

an old man by a window

I like Elliott Gould.
Photo: Eric Milner/Netflix

As the protagonist, Katie is the one character whose motives are by no means in query. Only the characters round her inform harmful lies, leaving her to untangle all of them and discover out the reality. There’s an precise detective investigating Leonard’s dying, Detective Chesler (Sasha Alexander), nevertheless it’s as much as Katie to do the legwork based mostly on the imprecise, main questions Chesler provides her.

Who is that this real-estate agent? Did the lawyer actually communicate with Leonard earlier than his dying? Does Chesler actually imply effectively? Why is Adam so obsessive about maintaining the cash within the attic? Each time a query will get answered, three extra crop as much as take its place. Director Michael Scott, working in a moody colour palette that usually makes the film appear to be an prolonged episode of Riverdale, retains the surprises coming at a tempo that ensures nobody will assume too laborious about the truth that there aren’t actually any clues to observe. The pleasure of Dangerous Lies isn’t discovering out whodunit, however merely yelling, “What?” at your display screen as more and more unbelievable twists play out.

The pacing has the added impact of creating it laborious to look away from the movie, as a lot is revealed so shortly — and has so little grounding in earlier elements of the plot — {that a} poorly timed lapse in consideration virtually ensures you’ll miss an important piece of data. Dangerous Lies doesn’t stack as much as Netflix originals like The Irishman or Roma, nevertheless it nonetheless calls for your consideration.

a young couple in a diner

This appears like Riverdale, proper?
Photo: Eric Milner/Netflix

The movie additionally has a leg up on its competitors in that Scott and cinematographer Ronald Richard make up for its lack of depth by capturing the movie as if it had been a Hitchcockian thriller. Low angles and well-framed photographs ramp up the sense of unease as Katie grows unsure of even Adam’s motives, heightening the sensation that she’s totally alone in an enormous home that appears to be extra of a curse than a blessing.

Dangerous Lies isn’t Oscar bait, nevertheless it completely delivers what its extraordinarily simple title guarantees. There’s no finish to the damaging lies the characters inform, they usually’re all overly dramatic in a method that provides to the movie’s pulpy tone. By that metric, Gould’s efficiency fulfills the precise parameters it must. Leonard isn’t lengthy for the world, and what wants to return throughout earlier than he goes is that he’s sort, and in addition that there could be someone else in the home, on condition that Katie catches him wandering the home at evening with a baseball bat. Gould whales on these factors — may his eyes be any wider and extra earnest? — till Leonard’s unceremonious exit, making it straightforward to see simply why Katie would possibly imagine that he would have left her all of his earthly belongings after figuring out her for under 4 months. He’s a cog in a machine that runs on juicy drama quite than refined performances — which isn’t, because it seems, a very dangerous factor.

Dangerous Lies is streaming on Netflix now.

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