In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minster Cao Cao convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever.Written by
Yun-Fat Chow was originally selected for the role of Zhou Yu, and had even earlier been considered for the role of Liu Bei. However, he pulled out just as shooting began. Chow explained that he received a revised script a week earlier and was not given sufficient time to prepare, but producer Terence Chang disputed this, saying that he could not work with Chow because the film's Hollywood insurer opposed 73 clauses in Chow's contract. See more »
When Zhou Yu is receiving treatment for his arrow wound, his chest is covered in blood. The next shot, the blood is gone, without anyone wiping it away. See more »
The year is 208 AD. After years of civil war, a deathly calm has fallen of northern China. One by one, the rebel warlords have met their end under the sword of Prime Minister Cao Cao. Now, even the Han Emperor bows before his power. Yet from the south, a challenge is heard. Two leaders arise against Cao Cao's tyranny, the aging Liu Bei, and the inexperienced Sun Quan. So Cao Cao petitions the Emperor to brand these men as traitors, and declare a new war against the peaceful ...
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For the UK theatrical release, cuts were required to remove a shot of a cruel and dangerous horse fall (a horse being tripped and falling forward, rolling over on its neck). The cuts were required in accordance with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »
After 15 years in Hollywood and making only on decent film (Face/Off) John Woo returns to his Asian roots. Here he get the creative independence he deserves and creates the most successful (and most expensive) ever Chinese films.
The year was 208AD, the Prime Minister Cao Cao (Fengyi Zhang) has taken control of Northern China and made the Emperor a puppet ruler. But the south is defiance. Lord Liu Bei (Yong You) tries to fight and has excellent general, but is hopelessly outnumbered by Cao Cao forces. He sets out to make an alliance with two other Southern Lords, the young Sun Quan (Chen Chang) and military expert Zhou Yu (Tony Leung). Liu Bei uses his chief adviser Kongming (Takeshi Kaneshiro) to negotiate with Lords. Even with this new alliance, Cao Cao still outnumbers the 3 Kingdoms with a force of 800,000 troops. Zhou Yu and Kongming sets out the win the coming battle with strategy, expert military tactics, trickery, the weather and spies. Here the two forces set out for the coming battle.
John Woo is an action director and the martial arts and the battles are well handle, if OTT (but that's what John Woo does). He has flair and the fights are bloody. He has fun with the CGI, from the battles to following arrows and doves when they are in flight. He gets to combine both Asian and Hollywood style of film-making. The music as well combine both Asian and Western styles. The film itself feels like the Chinese Lord of the Rings.
Tony Leung is the strongest link in the film, he is an expert martial artist and a good actor, being in House of Flying Daggers, the Infernal Affiars Trilogy and Lust Caution just to name a few. He offers another good performances. Other actors also offer good performances and they was no one who dragged the film down.
In China and Hong Kong Red Cliff was split into two films and already out on DVD in Hong Kong. The Western version combines the films, and its also the dumbed down version. The English was just weird in context with the rest of film. The film also does change in tone from it beginning. Lets hope that the DVD release in the West will be of both films or an extended edition.
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