‘The Policeman’s Lineage’ Review: Three Competing Stories Are Frankensteined Together In Lee Kyu-man’s Cop Drama
An odd mishmash of competing genres, Lee Kyu-man’s South Korean drama “The Policeman’s Lineage” is a somewhat intriguing but ultimately bland detective story.
What begins as a murder mystery quickly gives way to an undercover corruption narrative, i.e.
“Infernal Affairs,” before finally settling into a tedious actioner.
While anchored by strong performances by Cho Jin-woong (“The Handmaiden”) and Choi Woo-sik (“Parasite”), as the possibly corrupt cop Park and the rookie Ia officer Choi sent to investigate him, the film oscillates so wildly between tones that it’s hard to get a grasp on if it’s meant to be a serious indictment of policing, a buddy-cop film, or a tongue-in-cheek shoot-em-up.Beginning with a flashback to Choi’s father, a policeman who was ultimately killed in the line of duty, “The Policeman’s Lineage” quickly establishes Choi as both the moral center of the narrative and a
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