When I think of films that are well made but extremely clichéd, I think of ‘The Policeman’s Lineage’.
A film that isn’t necessarily bad but doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t seen before in other films. The South Korean crime drama begins with the story with Min-jae (Choi Wooshik), a rookie cop with an attitude of playing the rules by the book. Min-jae takes heat within the department for giving testimony against his older partner due to some dirty tactics that led to the arrest of a criminal some time ago.
Despite the issues with his fellow officers, Min-jae is called by his boss requests him to take a very sensitive internal case inside their organization. Due to his bravery, Min-jae is hired to look at an internal affairs case that focuses on superintendent Kang-yoon (Cho Jin-woong), who they believe is a dirty cop that has been working with a drug kingpin to subvert the efforts of the force.
Min-jae is initially reluctant to take the case but his inspiration to be a cop is to clear the name of his father who is a fallen officer and Min-jae hopes to receive information about the circumstances of his death by reporting to IA.
‘The Policeman’s Lineage’ suffers from an unoriginal story and a runtime that goes too long. The film starts off with a good pace and is well shot despite the action choreography being weak at all with the injection of shaky cam. However, the movie loses steam in the final act by bringing the action to a screeching halt and replacing it with exposition-ridden turns and twists. The performances of Cho Jin-woong and Choi Woosick as the rookie and the mentor go a long way to stretch the positives of this film. The other supporting characters are not very memorable and the villains are so weak, you forget they are in the film at certain points.
‘The Policeman’s Lineage’ isn’t a bad film but it’s a film that you have seen many times before and run at least 20-30 minutes too long.