The opening text of Roel Reiné's Admiral says the film is based on "true historical events," and thank goodness history has allowed for such a big, blustery, and unapologetically silly seafaring action movie. The picture zooms through many decades in the 17th century as the Netherlands, the world's only republic at the time, is threatened by both neighboring monarchies and a brewing civil war involving the homegrown Orangists, who want their country to become a monarchy.
Admiral is the second-most expensive Dutch movie ever made, and it shows: This is a fast-paced film that aims to dazzle with many battles featuring dozens of warships making each other go boom, with Admiral Michiel de Ruyter (Frank Lammers) leading the good guys. Part of the Admiral's charm is that it eschews for blockbuster handsomeness for historical accuracy; like the real de Ruyter, Lammers is a big schlubby guy who looks like he should be drumming for Led Zeppelin, or possibly helping Mark Borchardt shoot Coven. This makes him far more sympathetic than a preening Russell Crowe type, while Americans in 2016 may also find it hilarious that the monarchy-loving Orangists are represented by men the last name of "Tromp." Ah, history: you can't make this stuff up.
Roel ReineFrank Lammers, Sanne Langelaar, Barry Atsma, Egbert Jan-Weeber, Rutger Hauer, Charles Dance, Tygo Gernandt, Will BowdenLars Boom, Alex van GalenXLrator Media