In 2014 a film came out called The Admiral: Roaring Currents which focused on the Battle of Myeong-ryang. It was the most-watched film in Korean film history. Now director Han-min Kim (War of the Arrows) is back with the sequel, Hansan: Rising Dragon, which focuses on the Battle of Hansan. See the trend? This director, throughout his career, has made films involving wars/battles/fighting. The guy is drawn towards making action films of the epic scale. While this one has a little more of a stale feel to it than the original (isn’t that always the story?), it is still a decent battle film.

As you might expect of a veteran battle filmmaker, Han-min Kim’s sea battles look great! The visuals are amazing! Also quite interesting to see a sea battle told from a different perspective. This is a different kind of depiction of samurais. I don’t know about you, but to me, it seemed more authentic. More plausible that this is actually how it was for them. Not all were heroes. Different in tone and setup. Costumes and sets really help to immerse you into the time being depicted.

Don’t be scared off by the historical angle of the film. You don’t need to know anything about the time period, samurais or the battle between the Koreans and Japanese going in. I did not and could follow the happenings.

The film takes place in 1592 and the Japanese are invading Korea. The Japanese and the might of their warships are crushing the Koreans like paper houses. Admiral Yi Sun-sin (played by Park Hae-il) decides that it is time to use his secret weapon – the turtle ship or Geobukseon. He is hoping that it can ward off the Japanese.

Special Features:

-Character Highlights

-Secrets of Makeup

-Staff Commentary