[HanCinema’s Drama First Look] “Lookout”
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[HanCinema’s Drama First Look] “Lookout”

Revenge is a dish best served with the culprit’s head smashed into it or at least that is what our group of vigilantes in “Lookout” would all agree on. The action revenge drama about a mother working outside of the law in order to get justice for her daughter’s death has touted an ensemble cast and action-based thrills. The first eight episodes are fast-paced, but it is the intriguing characters and dynamics set up which make it most enjoyable.

“Lookout” has the core story we have seen in Korean drama time and time again. A loved one to the lead dies due to the corrupt rich. The lead, in this case a grieving mother, goes after said rich. This is a revenge story with action. The first two episodes set the backstory nicely, the villains are introduced and we have a mysterious character on their side who has their own agenda for being there and who keeps things interesting by being an antagonistic, but also helpful force.

One promising part of the premise is that our heroine might be turning into a rogue element who refuses to let her cause justify any means. This morality stand-off between her and her group’s leader might be one to look out for, pun intended. The series looks good, it is stylish and for the most part technically solid. It has the feel of an action or caper action film. The series relies a lot on Lee Si-young’s action skills and there are some small touches in terms of how this is filmed that really elevate the presentation, including the action scenes.

As much as I praise the action for its quality, however, it is its frequency and focus which I have a bit of a problem with so far. While there are more character- and story-driven moments gravitating toward the people involved in the events that unfold and the relationships between them, the progression of the plot is a bit too task based. Action scenes are drawn out and a big part of the latter episodes is mostly our heroine going from set piece to set piece with glimpses of juicy story bits in-between.

One expected issue is that most main characters are still superficial. The Lookout members working alongside our heroine take a while to graduate from one-liners and bickering while the righteous prosecutor is a standard “stand-up guy” with little screen time. That being said, they do show progress. The bigger issue is that the character most likely to be the group’s mysterious leader is presented as so morally twisted that their redemption arc will need to be quite impressive to flip the sympathy coin in their favor.

The series has some issues in the editing department as well. In a most blatant example, two characters have an important chance meeting which is abruptly cut for a commercial break. The scene has not been picked back up since then. These issues aside, the drama has an interesting story and as long as it focuses more on that than on the menial tasks in the vigilante to-do list, it should be a solid ride.

“Lookout” is directed by Son Hyeong-seo, written by Kim Soo-eun and features Lee Si-young, Kim Young-kwang, Kim Tae-hoon, Kim Seul-gi-I and Key.

Written by: Orion from ‘Orion’s Ramblings

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