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.
Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.
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
John Woo: [Two Guns] One battle scene features Zhao Yun wielding two swords at once. See more »
A sleeping baby is shown with blood spattered on his face in one shot, and in the next shot his face is completely clean. 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 »
Thanks to my previous knowledge on "Sangokushi" or Three Kingdom Saga in Ancient China, I enjoyed the outstanding performance and the dynamic war scenes. The movie also succeeded to dramatizing Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". It was exhilarating to see outnumbered allies made full use of the strategy and fought against their common enemies and ran a dead heat.
Usually I do not expect story or drama stuff being described in the action movies but "Red Cliff" betrayed my expectation in a good sense. There were several scenes that touched my heart. For example, two genius war generals who belong to different lords met for the first time and they instantly understood that they were hard-to-get friends by playing musical instruments together, without using any tricks or politics.
In a newspaper article a veteran charismatic movie buyer from Avex had foretold "Red Cliff" would take academy awards right after he finished reading the script. Though his hitting ration was high, I was not sure if he would raise his ratio and salary in the future. But I was sure that Tony Leon had a dominating presence through the scenes and it was highly possible that he would be nominated in his acting.
Actually I saw a lady stood up to go to the rest room during the highlight, and some left before the end roll skipping the trailer of part two, and after the trailer I heard a girl behind me complain against her excited boyfriend about dozens of characters who had lost her. I thought some previous knowledge would be important to fully enjoy this historic war movie.
Basically the movie was created for everyone because John Woo focused on the battle of red cliffs which was one of the best highlights in the saga, cleverly avoiding another digest version. Also there was a brief explanation about history and people at the beginning being accompanied by easy-to-understand Japanese subtitles crafted by Natsuko Toda. Personally I wanted to give my big hug to John Woo, actors and actresses, all the staffs, and their accomplishment "Red Cliff" (Part One).
15 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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