A “gangster lawyer” who doesn’t trust the law and feels free to use his fists. He takes advantage of loopholes in the law and boasts an excellent win rate. Other lawyers may consider the legal code sacred, but he considers it more of a tool “like an appliance user manual.” He fights against those in absolute power, standing all alone in the world, driven solely by the thought of avenging his mother.
Cast & Credits
Let me count them down with you:
1)Corrupt people in power who have successfully fooled the public into believing that they are good.
2)Our underdog hero and heroine who have a tragic past caused by the above mentioned corrupt people in power.
3)Our hero and heroine having coincidentally linked childhood history of some sorts.
4)An abundance of convenient plot-devices and complications that happen just for the sake of happening.
6)Our hero having magical powers that makes him have an IQ of 269, ninja fighting skills and a slightly whacked emotional quotient.
Yeah in 9/10 K-crime/law dramas this will happen. I bet my left tit on it. So if you are going to wear your granny glasses and make these the basis of judging what is original and what is not- you might as well save yourself the hassle and stop watching these altogether because by these standards you’re never going to find a drama that is “original”. Even if you do find one that seems different on the surface, I assure you it too will have a lot of typicalities in its core. And I say this in the nicest way possible ‘cause been there and done that.
So you ask me, Jeana, if they all tell more or less the same story what’s the point in watching? So glad you asked. The thing is, while the story may not be entirely never-before seen; the characters that tell the story and the way they tell it, is. And that makes all the difference.
Lawless Lawyer, in its core is also a typical crime/law drama and it has all those tropes I just mentioned above. However, the reason why it’s a must-watch is because it fulfills the goal all dramas strive to achieve: entertainment. And ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you this: LL is entertaining as fucking hell. It has moments that will have you cracking up, moments that will have you hold your breath in suspense even when you can already predict what’s going to happen and moments where your heart will fill with pride because of the characters you will surely come to love.
I’ve been eyeing Lee Joon Gi ever since I saw him single handedly carry the clusterfuck that was Scarlet Heart Ryeo on his beautiful broad shoulders. His acting chops are no joke. You bring him on the screen for two minutes and he’ll show you he isn’t playing. You know how we say that “some actors just emote with their eyes”? Yeah well, LJG emotes with the very flex of his jaw, the flick of his eyebrow, the tilt of his head- you name the part and the man will show you how to act with it. Simply put, he is brilliant. Which is why it’s literally a surprise to nobody that Bong Sang Pil is an extremely enigmatic character with madness in his eyes and gold in his heart. It was a joy to watch him and by the end of 16 episodes I was mighty fond of him.
Holding her own alongside LJG was our beautiful and talented Seo Ye Ji who first impressed me in Save Me and now won me over in LL. Her character had a solid backbone and she wasn’t afraid to show it. I usually have a bone to pick with beautiful actors -both male and female- because they rely heavily on their looks and decide to model their way through the episodes. Even when they are talented, you can see them take it easy and just roll through. I hate that and even my superficial tendency to fawn at pretty faces, masculine abs and collar bones isn’t enough to stop me from giving the drama a big fat 4 if I felt like the actor relied more on looks than putting in work. Here however, both LJG and Seo Ji perfectly embodied their characters and did their job despite being two very gorgeous people and that just made watching them extra sweet.
Some people say that a show is only as good as its antagonists and worry not my folks because the villains here are also an absolute delight. I have loved Choi Min Soo since his supporting role in Warrior Baek Dong Soo where he stole all the spotlights from his younger and more popular co-stars. Some people think that he tries hard or exaggerates with his roles but I disagree. I feel like he always brings these unique characters to life whose actions you both love and hate. He was an excellent villain in Lawless Lawyer and his Ahn Oh Joo- a greedy, ruthless and power hungry goon made me enjoy every second he was on-screen.
Next up on the antagonist list is Nam Soon Jo who with her over-the-top screaming and deliberately evil expressions never failed to amuse me and then finally, last but definitely not the least- we’ve got Cha Moon Sook played by Lee Hye Young. The evil mastermind and the woman on top of the food chain. She was as cold as they come. As sophisticated as she was cruel and I loved every scene she was in.
Lawless Lawyer was a very enjoyable ride from start to finish. There were many endearing supporting characters and some side roles and cameos by older actors who I adore. The music wasn’t too extraordinary but it was well-placed throughout the episodes. There wasn’t too much of a love story either; as a lot of potentially good chemistry between our leads was left unexplored but I’m not complaining because there were some good kisses and cute moments and I don’t ask for much in a drama which has romance as a sub-plot only. Other than that, I’d say LL had basically a bit of everything- love, laughter, kickass action scenes, suspense and emotion and so baby, I was a happy camper.
Yes, there were things that could be better. Some scenes could have developed more properly, some events more fleshed out. The ending more nicely executed but you know what? This show got me out of a three month slump. Before this I kept dropping shows half-way through or near the end ‘cause I just lost interest but with Lawless Lawyer I was compelled to watch episode after episode and I just didn’t want it to end.
So be brave, give it a shot and delve a little in the land of the lawless. ;)
I can probably guess that most of the viewers of this drama will be major fans of Lee Joon Gi since his popularity seemed to skyrocket after Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. However for me, I was still trying to find a drama I liked that had Lee Joon Gi as a lead. Don't get me wrong, Lee Joon Gi is a talented actor, but I dropped Scarlet Heart half way through as it just wasn't entertaining enough for me and other dramas such as Arang and the Magistrate were lackluster at best.
Lawless Lawyer was alright. That's the only word I can think of that sums up the drama for me.
The acting was obviously the strongest aspect of the drama. Lee Joon Gi (Bong Sang Pil) had some very intense scenes which is the character arc that suites him best in my opinion, going off the rails and being full to the brim with the need for revenge seems to suite him. Although, I found that the cute, cool dude act that he put on for some of the scenes just didn't sit right with me, to be honest, they made me cringe.
Seo Ye Ji (Ha Jae Yi) is one of the strongest female leads I have ever seen in a drama. I loved her character. She was not afraid to stand up and speak up for what she believed to be right and she batted away all those sexist remarks like a pro baseball player. Unfortunately, I found that her fighting spirit died down a little towards the end, she did still make decisions for herself, but they weren't as well thought out as they had been previously, leading to irritating plot lines.
Lee Hye Young (Cha Moon Sook) played a fantastic villain. She always had the upper hand, unbeknownst to the characters and sometime even the audience. Strong female characters are what I live for and she was the cherry on the cake for me. My only complaint with her was the ending she received but I'll talk about that once I get to the plot.
Choi Min Soo (Ahn Oh Joo). I'm sorry but I hated every second he was on screen. I am aware that if an actor playing a villain makes you hate them, then that probably means they are a good actor. In this drama, I really do not believe that was the case. The way he portrayed his character, with the exaggerated voice and the forced mannerism where he licks the inside of his cheek just distracted me. His acting did not feel natural for me and if it doesn't feel natural, you are reminded that you are watching a drama and that's not what I want.
The other side characters were decent. The one that stood out to me the most was Baek Joo Hee (Noh Hyun Joo). The desperation and fear that she portrayed was outstanding, very well acted.
Now the plot was interesting in the beginning because in the first half of the drama all the information is given to us so we know all the details of the case and who is more likely to win. After the audience knows everything, the drama goes downhill. The second half of the drama is just picking one detail of the case and manipulating it, forging evidence or making up a witness.
The ending felt very rushed as everything was tied together in a pretty messy bow in just one episode. The writers had built up the villain to be extremely powerful but the bullets that shot them down felt like they were made of rubber. I felt the evidence was given in a very vague way that wasn't satisfying enough for the audience who were, by now, seething with rage at the immense influence that the villain held.
To be honest I almost forgot about the romance. It wasn't really necessary. Any "cute" moments they had were set up in a way to promote any of the sponsors that the drama had. Most important of all, I didn't feel the chemistry. I think it would have been better if Bong Sang Pil and Ha Jae Yi were brother and sister that were separated at the origin of revenge. The drama would have benefited from completely replacing the romance arc with a sibling one, that way they wouldn't have to dedicate time, that they don't have, to building chemistry between the leads.
None of the music stood out to me at all.
No, I wouldn't watch it again. It was an alright drama, that's pretty much it. After 16 episodes I'm unfortunately still waiting for a Lee Joon Gi drama that I am wholeheartedly obsessed with. I'm so excited for that drama to come, whenever that may be.
Well done if you've read all of this, I just finished it so I needed to get all of it off my chest.
Thanks for reading!