Netflix film Dangerous Lies is a story that has a problem with the lead black character but it’s substandard anyway, so it will probably not take the world by storm.
Netflix film Dangerous Lies was released on the platform on April 30, 2020 — this review of the thriller contains some spoilers to do with the plot.
As far as thrillers go, Dangerous Lies is generically standard — one that introduces an attractive ’20-something’ couple trying to make their place in the world. The couple is the advertisement; they’ve both got so much love for each other but are in financial difficulties because they have dreams — don’t we all? Predictably, the wife Katie (played by Camila Mende) tells her husband Adam (played by Jessie T. Usher) to get his s*** together and get a job. Is it predictable that the husband is black too? We’ve seen this storyline way too often… “Don’t worry babe, I’ve got you, I’ll sort it out”.
Putting aside the racial implications implemented by the writer and director for a second; Kate is a broke caregiver who unexpectedly inherits her patient’s estate. Katie is not aspiring to be wealthy, but predictably, her black husband is hungry for the cash, even buying himself — wait for it — a new watch. But as they start taking the inheritance, buoyed by their newfound wealth, dark secrets surround the deceased patient and they are entangled in a world of violence and deceit. There is more to their inheritance than meets the eye.
The entire story of Dangerous Lies leans on paranoia — why does the estate agent keep coming to the house and wanting to buy for another client? Why do the cops keep questioning the couple? Who is this attorney that handed them the will? The whole story is leaning on finding a primary suspect which at one point, and predictably, leans to the jobless, money-hungry black husband that was told to get his s*** together. He can’t win.
Netflix film Dangerous Lies is often substandard with on-the-nose dialogue to keep it going, so luckily this film will not storm the world. But it’s easy to be irked by the treatment of the only black character in the story. As we approach the end of the film, suspicions are aggressively on Adam but as his name is cleared, the detective tells the now pregnant Katie that at least her child will grow up knowing her father was not a criminal.
Aw, that’s nice — one less black criminal. But still, a black father abandoning his child? How dare he die!
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.