While Korea is occupied by the Japanese Army in 1933, the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. But their plan is threatened by a traitor within their group and also the enemies' forces are hunting them down.
The film mainly follows the famous 1597 Battle of Myeongryang during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598), where the iconic Joseon admiral Yi Sun-sin managed to destroy a total of 31 of 133 Japanese warships with only 13 ships remaining in his command. The battle, which took place in the Myeongryang Strait off the southwest coast of the Korean Peninsula, is considered one of the greatest victories of Yi.Written by
The South Korean film, The Admiral, was an enormous hit in its native land. It made over $100,000,000 dollars--which might not sound like much in a country as large as the US or China, but this means that about 17,000,000 Koreans went to see this film, or, nearly about 40% of the country! It is clearly the most successful film in the history of Korean films. Fortunately, this film is now available abroad, though I was a tad disappointed to see it dubbed into English. Mind you, it's a pretty good dubbing...but I hope that the DVDs will come with the option of playing it in Korean with subtitles.
The movie is about one of the greatest naval victories in history--a battle very rarely talked about in the West. In 1597, at the Battle of Myeongnyang, Admiral Yi Sun-Sin only had about a dozen ships-- against as many as 200 invading Japanese ships...and somehow he prevailed. In comparison, it's much like the victory of the English against the Spanish Armada just a few years previous or the modern Battle of Midway--an amazing and very lopsided victory. But how did Yi do it? How was he able to use his wits, the currents as well as a lot of luck to turn the tide in favor of his demoralized navy? See the film and find out for yourself.
If you find this film in a theater, by all means see it. After all, it is HUGE in scope and does best with as big a screen as you can find. This also means that if you see it on DVD, it's best to watch it on a big screen as well--and perhaps this means taking it to your friend's house if they have a 70" HDTV! It's because the best thing about this movie is its scope--and you just have to see it to believe it. Seeing over a hundred ships (many of which are actually computer-generated--though you won't be able to tell because it was done so seamlessly) is reason enough to see this war film! It also is crammed with everything you'd expect in a film like this--action, blood and lots of heroism. It's the sort of rousing film that I could see energizing the Korean movie-goers. This also is a bit of a strike against it overseas. I know that not everyone cares whether or not the outnumbered Koreans won this battle--and many folks would probably rather see the next Iron Man movie. But, for what it is, it's a heck of a good film and deserves to be seen...and it might just surprise you if you give it a chance.
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