The Advocate: A Missing Body (2015)

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This legal crime dark comedy is driven by the performance of lead actor Lee Sun-Kyun, who brings both the funny and the serious in this film.

Byun Ho-Sung is a defense lawyer who has just won a case involving the drug Lomix, in which the plaintiff sued, saying the drug caused her to have cancer. Upon returning to his office, he learns that he has been given a new case. A woman by the name of Han Min-Jung has been murdered and the suspect who has been caught is Kim-Man Seok. The case was personally hired by Chairman Moon Ji-Hoon, the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. There poses one little problem. There is no body.

Byun’s past comes up to him when an old colleague, Jin Sun-Mi, has been hired as lead prosecutor in this case. While the two have a major difference in their ways of gathering evidence for the case, when Kim outbursts in court that he did kill Han, Byun thinks something is up. When Jin attempts and unsuccessfully follows Kim’s tip on where the body is apparently found, they eventually realize they must team up and in the midst of things, uncover something more potentially dangerous.

Director Huh Jong-Ho, who made his debut with 2011’s Countdown, returns with this legal crime comedy that is actually quite funny at times. And it is all in part of lead actor Lee Sun-Kyun, who plays defense lawyer Byun as a cocky and unorthodox person. The literal title of the film is “Angry Lawyer” and it somewhat fits with Byun as he goes from cocky and arrogant to angry when it comes to the case of the mysterious murder of Han Min-Jung, played well in theoretical flashbacks by Kim Yoon-Hye.

Kim Go-Eun is quite fun to watch as lead prosecutor Jin when it comes to her interactions with Byun. As Byun tries to act smooth with her, she rebuffs him in such a way that he sometimes wonders why. It is like they tend to act like a bickering couple who are complete opposites. Lim Won-Hee also provides some laughs as Byun’s office manager Park, who is an ex-military officer and has to prove it at times to help Byun with the case.

Along with the performances from the cast, the screenplay takes a very critical turn midway through and shows the transition of Byun as he discovers something vital to the case as it involves the first case he finds himself involved with in the film. From there, the film takes some constant twists and turns that prove to be vital to the film and thus, by the film’s end, it may seem predictable but nonetheless a perfect ending.

The Advocate: A Missing Body is a wonderfully paced legal dark comedy driven by the performances of its lead actors along with a well-constructed storyline with many twists and turns that all round out exactly perfect in the end.

WFG RATING: A

A CJ Entertainment production. Director: Huh Jong-Ho. Producers: Park Ji-Sung, Lim Sang-Jin, and Kim Hyun-Jeong. Writers: Choi Kwong-Yeon and Lee Gong-Joo. Cinematography: Kim Ji-Yong. Editing: Shin Min-Kyung.

Cast: Lee Sun-Kyun, Kim Go-Eun, Lim Won-Hee, Jang Hyun-Sung, Kim Yoon-Hye, Hong Sung-Duk.

 

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