The Admiral: Roaring Currents is a 2014 South Korean epic action-war film directed and co-written by Kim Han-min. Based on the historical Battle of Myeongnyang, it stars an ensemble cast led by Choi Min-sik as the Korean naval commander Yi Sun-sin. The film was released theatrically in South Korea on July 30, 2014.
The film recorded 10 million admissions only 12 days after its premiere and set a record for achieving such a high number of viewers in the shortest amount of time. The movie also surpassed Avatar’s record of 13 million viewers to become the most-watched and highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea with 17.6 million admissions and a worldwide gross of US$138.3 million.
The film revolves around the titular Battle of Myeongnyang around 1597, which is regarded as one of legendary Joseon Admiral Yi Sun-sin's most remarkable naval victories. He led only 12 ships, which remained in his command, to a heroic victory against an invading Japanese fleet of 333 vessels.
At the onset of the battle at their base in Haenam, the Japanese invaders under Tōdō Takatora are confident that their planned expedition to Hansong to capture King Seonjo will meet with success. However, they remain reserved over the news that Joseon's greatest admiral, Yi Sun-sin, has been restored to his former command after the disaster at Chilcheollyang, which has reduced the Korean navy to a mere dozen battle-ready ships. To ensure the success of the operation, Hideyoshi sends one of his finest naval war leaders to Joseon, Kurushima Michifusa, the commander of the Murakami Clan Navy and an expert in naval combat, but he, enjoys a shaky reputation among his fellow daimyō as a pirate. One of the admirals of the Japanese Left Army, Wakizaka, first meets Kurushima and his lieutenant, Kimura, while he finishes off the remnants of a group of Joseon soldiers. He especially distrusts Kurushima and draws his sword on him several times, especially after the latter insults him by shaming his defeat at Hansan Island. Later, Kurushima and Haru, his sharpshooter, drink sake as Kurushima elaborates on his personal vendetta against Yi Sun-sin, stating that his brother Michiyuki had been killed by the latter earlier in the war.