The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Myeong-ryang) (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Historical, Adventure, War
Director: Han-min Kim
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 110 minutes

The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Myeong-ryang) (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Story, Amazing battle scene(s)
Bad: Some CGI portions weren't all that convincing
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

When we think of tactical warfare nowadays, we immediately imagine drones, missiles, bombs and many other computer controlled weapons, leaving little to imagination. Even though a lot of planning is desired when trying to win a war, in the past every small move counted and every tiny detail had to be carefully planned. If you already find it hard to plan what’s going to be for dinner, imagine how hard it is to plan a battle where you’ll have to fend off 330 ships with only 13 of your own. We definitely wondered how this naval ‘300’ would turn out.


During the 16th century the Japanese empire is aiming to overthrow the Joseon Dynasty, but to do so they have to gain the upper hand on sea, as many troops have to be transported, and the Joseon forces have to be diminished. Even though the Joseon Dynasty’s chances are rather slim, all forces are called to battle, even with the odds very much against them. This brings us to admiral Yi Sun-sin (Min-sik Choi), one of the most respected figures in the Joseon Dynasty, as his victories are becoming more of a legend. He will have to take up arms against a massive Japanese fleet that consists out of 330 ships, whilst he only has 13 ships of his own. This alone is enough for his troops to panic, give up and even desert. Even though Yi holds his men close to his heart, he sets an example by beheading one of his own soldiers, after he ran away, showing his troops that the battle is coming, that he will need everyone and that deserting is no option. Nonetheless, convincing everyone proves to be a difficult task.

On the other side of the war you’ll find the Japanese invaders, who will send their massive fleet towards the Joseon Dynasty. Under the leadership of Wakizaka Yasuharu (Jin-woong Jo), a man who has already been defeated by admiral Yi in the past, 330 ships will make their move. Nonetheless, the Japanese empire decides to send general Kurushima (Seung-ryong Ryu) as a fearless reinforcement. Kurushima is known for waging war on open sea and earned himself the title of pirate king, as he shows no emotion and is simply a ruthless and coldblooded warrior. From here on out it seems that Yi will have no chance to win against the Japanese invaders, without a good strategy.

The movie starts off rather slowly, to offer enough information before the very impressive battle begins. After a third of the movie has passed, the gigantic open sea battle will commence and truth be told, this might be one of the most impressive war scenes that has been featured in a motion picture in years. Even though the combat will take up half the movie, there is not a single dull moment to be found. Most of all, it was quite pleasing to get enough information, which tends to be rare in Asian movies.

Even though the plot of this movie might seem farfetched, it is actually based on a battle that actually took place. The battle itself had loads of details, from the firing of the cannons to the hand-to-hand fighting scenes when ships got entered. Everything feels very convincing and it was surprisingly realistic that admiral Yi was actually able to make a stand against the oppressing force. This alone shows that this movie was handled with care and that realism was an important factor.

Acting performances are simply outstanding. Even though the admiral steals the show for the most part of the movie, his underlings present a great performance as well. They’ll show actual fear, as well as determination when required to. On the Japanese side of business, the pirate king truly feels like a menace and the fact that he does not truly shows any emotions whatsoever, makes him that much more fearsome.


A few small but welcome extras are featured on this Blu-ray release, which will give you a tad of extra pleasure after watching the movie. There are a few small character clips, which resemble cinematic trailers, rather than actual informative features. Other than that, there’s a making of and some other trailers to be found.


The Admiral: Roaring Currents is an amazing movie, with a not so common topic. You’ll be drawn into a battle that might seem dated, but still remains a visual spectacle. Not only is this a visual masterpiece at certain points, it’s also very interesting to dive into the mind of a legendary admiral and see how he handled a very hopeless situations. Row, row, row your boat and look this one up.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Myeong-ryang) (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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