(It strikes me that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it. I’ve been writing these pint-sized movie reviews in Goodreads for some time; there’s no good reason for me to not put them here, too. So there.)
The Admiral: Roaring Currents is a kind of 16th-Century Korean Midway starring Oldboy’s Min-Sik Choi. It’s a recounting of the famous (if you’re Korean) 1597 Battle of Myeongryang, in which a plucky Korean flotilla of 13 warships dispatched ten times their number of invading Japanese vessels.
Like Midway, the first half is the buildup to the battle, in which we follow the major players on both sides as they deal with their various political and military tangles. It’s gorgeously produced, with Master and Commander-level realism (and gore) in the battle scenes. There may be a bit too much reliance on dramatic slo-mo, extreme close-ups of scowling men and pounding epic music. Still, it’s not hard to see why this is an all-time box-office champ in South Korea.
It’s an exciting story even if you already know the outcome. If you’re into wooden-boats-and-iron-men-type actioners, this may be your weekend movie pick.