Synopsis. Lawless Lawyer is a 16-episode 2018 kdrama about a lawyer that seeks revenge and justice for wrongs done to his family when he was a child. His team aka the “Lawless Lawyers” work to bring the powerful down to earth to pay for years of crimes committed with impunity.
What I Liked about Lawless Lawyer
Writing. Lawless Lawyer came strong out of the gate. Writer Yoon Hyun Ho delivered a first episode that set the stage for the entire series. The flashbacks were woven into the present day with ease. I am partial to strong women and Writer Yoon populated the series with them. This was my second series from Writer Yoon (Remember was the first). I will watch the more series from this writer.
Leading Man. Bong Sang Pil (Lee Joon Gi) was a man who’d been wronged as child and was relentless in pursuing his goals of revenge and justice. Initially his revenge was his primary aim. But as the series went on, Sang Pil realized justice was the option to restore balance to his hometown controlled by “the 7” a powerful group with a single dictator in Judge Cha. Lee Joon Gi portrayed this cocky, street smart, strategic lawyer with a smile and a swagger you couldn’t help but fall for. Lee Joon Gi brought his bright charisma and deep acting to this series and elevated it. Every actor that interacted with him upped their game. Granted Writer Yoon’s script and was the first priority (aka if it isn’t on the page, it can’t be on the stage) for the success of this series, but Lee Joon Gi made this central character the reason why the writing came alive.
Leading Lady. Ha Jae Yi (Seo Ye Ji) was the perfect counterpart to Sang Pil. She said what she thought. She punched men that behaved like jerks. She had a relationship with Sang Pil that was adult, caring, and based on mutual respect. Seo Yi Ji brought to life an ethical passionate character that didn’t know how “the 7” had changed her life. Once she understood, she wouldn’t rest until justice was served.
Villains with a likability factor. An O Joo (Choi Min Soo) was a hired thug and murderer who did the bidding of Judge Cha. He was hateful. But Choi Min Soo artfully brought out the showman and the humor of this character. He could command the screen. Nam Soon Ja (Yum Hye Ran) was the faithful assistant to of Judge Cha. She’d do whatever needed to be done and wasn’t kind about doing it. She held O Joo in disdain, sneering whenever they encountered each other. Yum Hye Ran gave Mrs. Nam a range of facial expressions. Her tender spot, her love for her daughter, made her human.
Production. Director Kim Jin Min kept the episodes moving with a brisk pace (the fight scenes were well staged) but lingered just the right amount for scenes with an emotional punch. The rooftop scene between Sang Pil and his uncle was particularly effective.
What I Did Not Like about Lawless Lawyer
Started strong and faded towards the end. This is a quibble. The opening episode was perfect, the following episodes built with twists and turns, but the final couple of episodes didn’t have the same punch of intensity and the payoff wasn’t quite as satisfying as expected.
Would I Recommend Lawless Lawyer?
Yes. Lawless Lawyer is a drama I’d recommend. The story had unexpected twists and turns, the struggle of revenge versus justice, good versus evil, led by a stellar performance by Lee Joon Gi made this series a winner.
All 4 vocal songs in the 20 song OST are worth a listen. “Burn it Up” and “Living in the City” are upbeat tunes where you pulse along with the songs. The playlist below has them all and dramawiki has the details.
1. Burn It Up iamnot
2. Memories Babylon
3. When Our Eyes Meet Kim Yun Ji
4. Livin’ in the City Pullik