Noryang: Deadly Sea Blu-ray Review


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kim Han-min
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Kim Yun-seok, Baek Yoon-sik, Jung Jae-young, Huh Joon-ho
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Korean (DTS 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 32 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 14, 2024

        As the third and final film in the trilogy about the nautical battles of Korean admiral and military general Yi Sun-sin (Kim Yoon-seok), Noryang: Deadly Sea has the likely benefit of audience familiarity. Not only are most audience members likely familiar with the historical figure following the first two films, but they also understand the approach to these narratives taken by director Kim Han-min. Along with a meticulous dedication to historical accuracy, Noryang: Deadly Sea follows the structure first established by The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014) and the follow-up film, Hansan: Rising Dragon (2022), dedicating the first half to character development and setting up the plot before shifting to battles at sea.


        While all three of the films in Kim’s nautical war trilogy take place during the Japanese invasions of Korea from 1592–1598, the final installment is focused on the Battle of Noryang, which was the last major battle of the war. This conflict takes up the second half of the film, though the first half is dedicated to the events leading up to the battle, starting with the death of the leader of the Japanese army, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His last order before dying is for the Japanese army to retreat from Joseon, and Yi Sun-sin sees this as an opportunity to decimate the invaders to end the war before they can flee.


        As these films are as much about the politics of war as the battles, there are multiple obstacles impeding Yi’s goals, including the governor of the Ming Dynasty Chen Lin (Jung Jae-young) betraying his people for the bribes from the Japanese. While Yi hopes to hold the Japanese ships from leaving, Lin opens a path for them to escape. To make matters worse, Yi realizes he must finish the battle before the arrival of support from the head of the Japanese army, Shimazu (Baek Yoon-sik).


Though the attention to historical detail is an impressive element to Noryang, as with the past two installments, it is likely the battles at sea which leave a lasting impression. Kim takes his time getting to the action, but these sequences have more impact because of the time spent setting up the historical context and character development. As the final installment, there is also a sense of completion to this film that was missing from the first two.


The Blu-ray release of Noryang: Deadly Sea includes a character history for the main cast, which could be helpful to those who need a reminder or who missed the first two films. There is also a trailer.


Entertainment Value: 7/10

Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

Historical Significance:  6/10

Special Features: 3/10

No comments: