Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Admiral: Roaring Currents Review South Korea 2014 명량

Director Kim Han-min’s(War of The Arrows) 16th century historical epic is one of the greatest naval battle films ever made. And it now happens to be the biggest grossing South Korean film of all time. Starring Choi Min-sik(Oldboy/Lucy), Ryu Seung-ryong(Blades of Blood), Cho Jin-woong(Nameless Gangster), Jin Goo(Mother), Lee Jung-hyun(Juvenile Offender) and Kim Myung-gon(Masquerade).

South Korean war drama based on the Battle of Myeongnyang which took place in 1597. After being disgraced and demoted Yi Sun-shin (Min-sik Choi) is reinstated to Admiral and commands the last 12 ships of the Joseon Navy in a battle against the invading Japanese forces and their fleet of 200. Against the odds, can Yi lead his men to victory?

Spectacular looking film based on the true battle led by revered Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Domestic audiences are well aware of the history and facts of this legendary battle, but international audiences are in for some surprises and a real treat.

Squad Goals.

Yi was known for his strategies. Using unorthodox tactics, “turtle” ships and even the current to win battles. The story is interesting from beginning to end, but it's the battle scenes were things really get compelling and exciting. You never know exactly what Yi has up his sleeve, and some of his tactics are rather surprising.

Visually the battle scenes are spectacular and intense. A fine blend between CGI and replica ships, the scenes look extremely realistic with only a few sketchy CGI moments. The ships look fantastic, especially up close, and especially while they are being blown to pieces sending woodchips and bodies flying everywhere.

Stunning costumes in The Admiral.

The 2nd half of the film is action filled, but the first half is filled of backstories and character development. This causes some issues as there are too many side stories and characters being introduced from both sides that it gets complicated and hard to keep up.

Minor issues aside. Choi Min-sik delivers another stunning performance. A reserved but still charismatic, intimidating performance. The Japanese characters(played by Korean actors) are also extremely interesting in their methods and the costume designs are stunning with the Samurai-esque outfits,

A great war film from South Korea which is extremely different from their usual North Vs South war story. Highly recommended.


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