A drab and unexciting adventure film. The premise of Master and Commander is simple, but not bad. A long voyage on a ship, faraway lands and warmongering nations, everything is present for a fun-fulled and entertaining two hours of cinema. Except maybe a director who knew how to handle the material.
The film is quite serious, even though it's little more than three battles on the sea and some filler drama in between. The characters are cardboard and performances are uninspired, the soundtrack is misplaced and the cinematography fails to capture the excitement of the voyage and the battles.
It's the trip itself, the vastness of the sea and the short visit to the Galápagos Islands that make it bearable, but it's definitely not enough to warrant the 2+ hour runtime, let alone the many accolades this film has received over the years. Mediocre Hollywood nonsense that should best be forgotten.