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Thread: Movie Review: Admiral (Адмиралъ)

  1. #1
    Dan the Man's Avatar S A M U R A I F O O L
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    Default Movie Review: Admiral (Адмиралъ)

    Disclaimer: Please note that this is the first non-English/non-German (the two languages I speak at least semi-fluently) foreign film that I have ever seen. So, as one could imagine, it is quite possible that the translation between spoken Russian to English subtitles may have gone a little less smoothly than the filmmakers would have intended. I will attempt to account for this in this review, though I make no promises at total neutrality.

    "Admiral" is a 2008 Russian biopic revolving around the later life (1916-1920) of Admiral Alexander Kolchak, who was the leader of the anti-Bolshevik White Army and Supreme Ruler of Russia during the Russian Civil War. I first discovered this film through a friend of mine sometime in the middle of last Summer. It sparked my interest almost immediately and, after watching a few trailers on Youtube and reading a couple of plot-summaries on other websites, I recently decided to give it a try for myself and order the English-subtitled version on Amazon.com.

    For all of the buildup and excitement leading up to my final purchase of the film (and there was plenty) I have to admit, I was a bit let down in the end, and really wound up scratching my head wondering what in God's name had just happened. I suppose what I had expected was more of a "Band of Brothers," or "Saving Private Ryan," or at least "Pearl Harbor" style film out of this. Sure, I knew there would be romance scenes (hence my expectation of it being similar to "Pearl Harbor" in some way.), I had done my research. However, I grew to see that aforementioned romance scenes became the predominant part of the film, with action scenes seeming to take a back seat.

    Romance scenes aren't horrible. Given a choice, I'd choose battle-scenes over them in a heartbeat, but at least they have some substance to them...right? In "Admiral," not so: The dialogue in said scenes is filled to the brim with what I like to call "mush." Mush is basically flowery language like "my precious one" or "love of my life," you know, stuff that your grandparents call each other. Like I said, I can tolerate romance scenes, but not when they're packed with over-sweetened words.

    Lastly, some elements of the plot simply don't add up, or are too conveniently written for them to be, in any way, convincing or viable. For example, there is a scene in which Admiral Kolchak is briefly released from a holding cell after his capture in the city of Irkutsk. Seeing that he has been released, his wife, Anna, tries to go speak to him, whereupon a guard warns her she cannot go any further, saying he is under strict orders not to let anybody talk to the Admiral. Then suddenly, in a freakish change of heart and without any urging from Anna, he turns around and basically tells her to go ahead, but be quick about it. Pardon me, but after you had just said not a second ago that you wouldn't let anybody come near a guy, would you really change your mind that quickly and without anybody even asking you to? It just doesn't seem to fit.

    Overall:
    Acting: 7/10 - Some lines were, from what somebody who doesn't speak a word of Russian could tell, not very well delivered, but a majority of the acting was very good. Konstantin Khabensky did particularly well playing the Admiral, as did Sergey Bezrukov as Vladimir Kappel.
    Screenplay: 5/10 - I would've preferred that they not divert from the historical context of the story, but it wasn't glaringly awful.
    Plot: 3/10 - As previously mentioned, some plot elements seemed to flush with the rest of the story a little too easily.
    Visuality: 8/10 - Battle scenes were very well done, though there were a few sloppy looking scenes in other parts of the film.
    Music: 1/10 - It was positively awful. It was far too quiet, and when it could be heard it sounded synthesized and, in some parts, completely cliche. Maybe I've been spoiled by the likes of Hans Zimmer or John Williams, but whoever wrote the soundtrack for this film should never be allowed to write music again.
    Enjoyment: 6/10 - I managed to remain entertained, though some parts had me facepalming.
    Overall: 6/10 - It really depends on your own film tastes - If you go for gushing romance films with a little war on the side, then more power to ya, but don't make the mistake I did going in and expecting it to be all fighting. If you have an interest in the time-period I would also recommend seeing it. It's probably not something I will end up watching more than once, or at least not again for a long time.
    Proudly under the patronage of The Holy Pilgrim, the holiest of pilgrims.


  2. #2
    paradamed's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Movie Review: Admiral (Адмиралъ)

    I watched the movie. It has some cool battle scenes but I would like to ask if it historically accurate. I just will never buy a romance story that begins with cheating. This is what I didnt like about the movie. But overall it is a decent movie.

  3. #3
    Dan the Man's Avatar S A M U R A I F O O L
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    Default Re: Movie Review: Admiral (Адмиралъ)

    Woah, sorry for my extremely delayed reply! I had completely forgotten about this review!
    Anyway, the aspects about it that are meant to be historical are pretty well done. I think the love story seems to divert a whole lot from what would be historically accurate. I'm no expert on Admiral Kolchak's personal life though.
    Proudly under the patronage of The Holy Pilgrim, the holiest of pilgrims.


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    Wallachian's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: Movie Review: Admiral (Адмиралъ)

    I quite enjoyed the movie and would actually watch it again. But then again I'm a great fan of the Russian Civil War. Thought the action scenes were great too.

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