Killing for the Prosecution film review: Takuya Kimura in tediously plotted legal procedural; Kazunari Ninomiya co-stars

Masato Harada’s film has an intriguing premise – is it OK to frame a known bad guy for a deadly crime – but is too dry, too long and has too many subplots

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2018, 7:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2018, 7:04am

2/5 stars

At the heart of this crime drama by director Masato Harada ( The Emperor in August ) is an intriguing moral dilemma: is it OK to frame a known bad person for a crime, especially if he has got away with a very similar one previously?

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Unfortunately, the 122-minute drama is made tedious by too many subplots and too much dry dialogue. Twenty minutes of methodical character introductions are required before the plot, which revolves around a pair of prosecutors investigating the murder of an elderly couple, gets going.

Veteran Takeshi Mogami (played by superstar Takuya Kimura) and his underling Keiichiro Okino (Kazunari Ninomiya) have narrowed the suspects down to two, one of whom was also the prime suspect in the infamous murder of a teenage girl two decades earlier.

Instead of the misdirection and plot twists that usually fill these whodunit dramas, Harada is focused on cramming the movie with legal procedural scenes and interrogation room debates. It’s obvious Mogami, who has ties to the deceased girl, prefers to pin the latest murders on one suspect over the other. Okino, meanwhile, wants to do things the right way.

There are a couple of subplots in the film revolving around the prosecutors’ personal lives that add a bit of background to their otherwise staid professional behaviour. But ultimately they only serve to make Killing for the Prosecution too dense and too long.

Killing for the Prosecution opens on August 30

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