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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Justice Team" Episodes 3-4 Final

2016/12/16 | Permalink

The second, and apparently final, case of "Justice Team" involves two small children who are clearly experiencing some form of physical abuse yet are completely unwilling to finger the only apparent suspect responsible for their injures- their father. Once again no obvious hard evidence presents itself. For awhile all the team really has to go on is circumstantial evidence. Then, by sheer dumb luck, they get exactly what's necessary to present a case and lock up the bad guy.

The first time "Justice Team" pulled this sort of resolution out of thin air, I was forgiving. This time it was a little annoying, mostly because the denouement was so unsatisfying. Aside from having a physical presence and a clear job title, Min-hyeok never seems to actually do all that much. Likewise, investigator Min-gook (played by Sung Ji-ru) conducts almost all of his relevant searches off-screen, only occasionally checking in with Min-hyeok to brush up on some of the details.

This leaves the main interesting screentime to Bo-bae and other female characters who crack the case mainly by talking to victims and providing them with a safe space with which to feel comfortable. The closing shot of episode three is especially sad, because as silly as the set-up is, really, how else are you going to find a way to connect with a kid? What really cracks the case is just getting those miserable children comfortable enough with their mother's situation that they express themselves through creative outlets.

But then, referring to the strengths of "Justice Team" is itself a bit of a lot cause, since the drama is apparently already over. Given the obviously anthological format, that begs a lot of questions. Is "Justice Team" not, in fact, a web-drama at all but rather some sort of pilot program that was posted on Naver TV Cast because the creators just wanted to show their work somewhere?

That would also explains the drama's low reach. Its viewcounts are barely in the thousands. For that matter, I was wondering why the credits feature so prominently in film style format when in most dramas they're barely even visible. Well, whatever the reason for its existence, "Justice Team" did manage to tell a couple of fairly down-to-earth stories about some rather routine investigations. I'm still grateful for that much, since flashy murder cases get way too much of the fictional screen time.

Review by William Schwartz

"Justice Team" is directed by Yoon Joon-ho, written by Lee Min-hee-I and features Han Sang-jin, Shin So-yul, Sung Ji-ru and Cho Hyunyoung.

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