[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Bad and Crazy" Episode 7
By William Schwartz | Published on
The hunt to take down Superintendent Kim concludes anticlimactically. There's surprisingly little drama or tension. Inspector Ryoo and Detective Lee have already pulled off the hard part by managing to brute force their way out of a locked truck. Then just as they've gotten started menacing their would be murderers with the giant truck, Patrolman Oh and Detective Yang (played by Cha Si-won) pop up, despite Inspector Ryoo's stated motivation to keep them out of this whole mess.
It turns out that Inspector Ryoo didn't want to clue in Detective Yang because Detective Yang is married, with a lot of kids. But in a refreshing departure from the usual tropes there's a lot of humor in the hospital scenes. The most is made of Patrolman Oh and Detective Yang's strong chemistry, as well as the oddly humorous personality similarities between Detective Yang's wife and Inspector Ryoo, who are revered by Detective Yang in similar ways.
Character building moments like that really stand out- as does the visit that Inspector Ryoo makes to Detective Lee's apartment, where they almost immediately lapse into old habits. "Bad and Crazy" is surprisingly cute even when K isn't around. We only really see him in the comical follow-up to the initial locked in a truck scene. And while I can remember the agony Inspector Ryoo and K felt over being locked in the truck, I've completely lost track of the actual chain of the investigation that leads to Superintendent Kim's undoing.
As charming as that characterization may be, it really just underscores how the main story was running on fumes and making the episode feel a lot longer than it really was. Then we get to the post-script, which mainly just serves to establish that Inspector Ryoo is going to have to get some actual treatment for his split personality issues. But the whole scene at the psychologist's office is exceptionally and ominously cryptic.
Overall the episode misfires by trying to compartmentalize the criminal investigation and the character development angles of the story. Inspector Ryoo has always been a compelling character because his core conflict is being a corrupt cop who's that way more due to laziness than lacking any particular moral scruples. Overcoming that laziness through solid detective work is his main redemption. The action cop stuff is more like eye candy, but in this case it just didn't grab me.
Review by William Schwartz
"Bad and Crazy" is directed by Yoo Seon-dong, written by Kim Sae-bom, and features Lee Dong-wook, Wi Ha-joon, Han Ji-eun, Cha Hak-yeon, Kang Ae-shim, Kim Dae-gon. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2021/12/17~Now airing, Fri, Sat 22:40 on tvN.
Where to WatchPowered by
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.