As soon as Elliott Gould showed up, I knew he was going to die.
Now, of course, I should clarify that I didn’t think that Elliott Gould the actor was going to die. Instead, I thought that the character he was playing — Leonard Wellesley — was going to die. Leonard, after all, is a wealthy man who has no family left and who is in bad health. He keeps trying to give money to his caregiver, Katie (Camila Mendes). Katie consistently refuses the money, even though she could really use it. She and her husband, Adam (Jessie T. Usher), are drowning in debt. Even after Leonard hires Adam to work as his gardener, they’re still struggling to make ends meet. Still, Katie doesn’t want to take Leonard’s money because Katie doesn’t want to take advantage of him.
For the plot to move forwards, it’s necessary for Leonard to die, though not before changing his will to leave everything to Katie. Normally, when this happens in a movie, it turns out that the caregiver actually manipulated her employer into changing the will before murdering him but, in this case, Katie is totally innocent. It’s actually kind of a nice twist. As played by Camila Medes, Katie is someone who sincerely is trying to do the right thing, even if it means her life is occasionally difficult. As played by Elliott Gould, Leonard may be a bit eccentric but he’s still just sincerely trying to thank the person who made his final days bearable.
(Admittedly, another reason why I knew Leonard was going to die was because, whenever a veteran actor like Elliott Gould shows up in a movie like this, he’s usually going to end up playing someone who dies under mysterious circumstances. Call it the Rule of Eric Roberts.)
Moving into Leonard’s house, Katie and Adam are surprised to discover a large trunk of cash. While Katie wonders why exactly Leonard would have a huge trunk of money hidden away in his house, Adam is more concerned with what they can do with that money. While Katie tries to resist the urge to get greedy, Adam starts obsessing on the money. What else does Leonard have hidden around the house?
Meanwhile, a mysterious man named Hayden (Cam Gigandet) watches the house and plots his next move….
Dangerous Lies is a thriller that was released on Netflix back in April. This is probably one of those low-budget movies that would have been overlooked if not for the fact that everyone was pretty much locked inside their house when it was released. Watching Dangerous Lies provided a nice escape from the bad news of the pandemic. Speaking for myself, it was kind of fun to watch Katie and Adam explore their new home. After being stuck inside of mine for a month, the idea that I could suddenly inherit a mansion provided a nice bit of wish-fulfillment.
As for the film itself, it was a diverting thriller. Elliott Gould brought some unexpected depth to the role of Leonard and Camila Mendes and Jessie T. Usher were believable as the couple at the center of the story. They had a believable chemistry and Usher did a good job of portraying Adam’s losing struggle with his own greed. This is the type of simple but entertaining film that you watch if you have a few hours to kill in the afternoon and there’s nothing wrong with that.