When the young republic of The Netherlands is attacked by England, France and Germany and the country itself is on the brink of civil war, only one man can lead the country's strongest weapon, the Dutch fleet: Michiel de Ruyter.
When the young republic of The Netherlands is attacked by the great Kingdom of England, France and Germany and the country itself is on the brink of civil war, only one man can lead the country's strongest weapon, the Dutch fleet: Michiel de Ruyter.
In order to make the film accessible for school classes and families who want to see it in the cinema, a 12+ version with a few cuts in the most explicit scenes was also released. See more »
Michiel de Ruyter is shown as being present in The Hague at the lynching of the De Witt brothers but he was not in The Hague, as also a mob who tried to find him in reality discovered. See more »
In the Netherlands, the movie was released in two different versions in the cinema. One of the versions lack explicit images of a lynching and also the death scene of the main character is made less horrific. This version has certification: 12 years and older. See more »
An amazing accomplishment, and not just special effects
This could easily be one of the best Dutch movies made so far. It is not only an amazing accomplishment because of the spectacular naval battles and special effects, but also because it manages to explain all of the historical context. And on top of that, it not only manages to tell De Ruyter's story, but also that of other important historical characters, such as Charles II, Willem III, Johan De Witt, and several others.
The movie struggles occasionally to fit all of De Ruyter's career in just one movie. And especially the first half of the movie suffers from misplaced patriotism that feels almost un-Dutch, with a lot of slow motion close ups of waving Dutch flags, and long winded speeches about freedom and liberty. It struggles with its dialog, and especially at the start it often indulges too much in spouting exposition, and in trying to remind the audience of the time period.
But those minor issues aside, this is a great film. It even takes some risks by showing Wilhelm III's blatant taste for boys over girls, and by showing the gruesome betrayal of the brothers De Witt. All of this is historically accurate, so that can't really be considered a spoiler to anyone who has bothered to read a bit of history.
The movie has a great soundtrack, and beautiful costumes, while using a lot of real locations (which have been made to look period-accurate with a little help of some CGI). At times the ships clearly look computer generated, but all of that can be forgiven because of the beautiful camera work, and an almost American-style of cinematography. This movie does not look Dutch. It looks like a Hollywood movie. And I think that makes it a lot more accessible to foreign audiences.
I recommend it.
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