(director/writer: Tyler Perry; cinematographer: Cory Burmester; editor: Larry Sexton; music: Patricia Jones, Amanda Delores; cast: Kelly Rowland (Mea Harper), Trevante Rhodes (Zyair Malloy), Nick Sagar (Ray), Sean Sagar (Kal), RonReaco Lee (Jimmy), Shannon Thornton (Charlise), Maria Gabriela Gonzalez (Hydie), Kerry O’Malley (Azalia); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: R; producers:  Will Areu, Dianne Ashford, Angi Bones, Tyler Perry, Kelly Rowland; Netflix; 2024)

“A disappointing flick.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The latest by Black filmmaker Tyler Perry (“Nobody’s Fool”/”A Jazzman’s Blues”), featuring a mostly Black cast, is this poorly scripted and directed lurid over-the-top soap opera-like  thriller among the ‘beautiful people.’ It tries to tell us that everyone is guilty of something.

It’s a difficult pic to give two-shits about since its characters are so unappealing.

It’s set in Chicago.

Mea Harper (Kelly Rowland, singer/actress) is stuck in a shitty marriage to the loser Kal (Sean Sagar), a mama’s boy, whose vile and overbearing mom, Azalia (Kerry O’Malley), a cancer vic, keeps him under wraps. The sad sack has been fired from his job as an anesthetist when showing up to work drunk and stoned. He’s suffering from an addiction problem.

The ambitious Mea’s a powerhouse criminal defense lawyer, much in demand, with her latest client being the celebrated and deceitful womanizing artist Zyair Malloy (Trevante Rhodes). He’s been charged with murdering his girlfriend Hydie (Maria Gabriela Gonzalez). Despite it being unethical, the lawyer falls for her flashy client and they have a fling.

At first Mea refuses to take the case because Kal’s brother Ray (Nick Sagar) will be the prosecutor. But when Azalia insists she should not take it, her hatred for her is enough reason to take it.

The story is a bummer, the acting is not good, and the dialogue is strained.

It’s a disappointing flick.