In this sequel to Red Cliff, Chancellor Cao Cao convinces Emperor Xian of the Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Shu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all ...
See full summary »
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
His country torn asunder by civil war, Zhao Zilong, a common man heeds the call of duty and from the humblest of roots rises through the ranks on wings of courage and cunning to command an ... See full summary »
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
In this sequel to Red Cliff, Chancellor Cao Cao convinces Emperor Xian of the Han to initiate a battle against the two Kingdoms of Shu and Wu, who have become allied forces, against all expectations. Red Cliff will be the site for the gigantic battle. Written by
John Woo Brings the Fury in This Monstrous Period-Piece Payoff
With the cast established, their motivations solidified, the stage set and the first volleys already thrown in the original, John Woo is able to just sit back, relax, and make the thoroughly indulgent epic action picture he always wanted in its sequel. Where the first film thematically leans more in the direction of theology and politics, backed by a brief taste of large-scale military maneuvers, this follow-up is a full-gale blast of battlefield planning and dramatic execution. History buffs may grimace at a few of its flashier moments, like the warrior who uses his spear to pole vault over enemy battalions, but those are rare enough to write off as passing fits of eccentricity from a director who's not always known for his realism. Besides, the real sizzle lies with the world-class, hour long battle scene that closes the picture - and the obscene amount of fascinating war maneuvers seen therein. It's the mother of all fight scenes, an intense, unrelenting thrill ride the likes of which hasn't been seen from the west in decades, if ever. And, as Woo addresses one of my biggest complaints about the first Red Cliff - the generic, evil-for-the-fun-of-it enemy commander who's admirably rounded out in a few powerful scenes - it's ultimately an even better effort than its predecessor. A thrilling, intense, large-scale classic that makes for one hell of a payoff.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?