7.4/10
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Red Cliff (2008)

Chi bi (original title)
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The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director:

John Woo

Writers:

John Woo (screenplay), Khan Chan (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) | 3 more credits »
13 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Zhuge Liang
Fengyi Zhang ... Cao Cao
Chen Chang ... Sun Quan
Wei Zhao ... Sun Shangxiang
Jun Hu ... Zhao Yun
Shidô Nakamura ... Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Chiling Lin ... Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
Yong You Yong You ... Liu Bei
Yong Hou Yong Hou ... Lu Su
Dawei Tong ... Sun Shucai
Jia Song ... Li Ji
Baasanjav Mijid Baasanjav Mijid ... Guan Yu
Jinsheng Zang Jinsheng Zang ... Zhang Fei
Shan Zhang Shan Zhang ... Huang Gai
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The future will be decided. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of epic warfare | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Cliff See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CNY 553,632,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

KRW 1,064,848 (South Korea), 6 July 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,104, 20 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$627,047

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$127,814,609
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(PG)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo's first Chinese film since 1992. See more »

Goofs

(Approx. 45 min. American version) During the tortoise battle, one of the generals retrieves his spear from the chest of an enemy. Naturally, it is covered in blood when he grabs the shaft, but when he withdraws it in the next shot, it is completely clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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 ...
See more »

Connections

Followed by Chi bi: Jue zhan tian xia (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart, War
Music by Tarô Iwashiro
Lyrics by Francis Lee
Performed by Alan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I hope when this movie comes out to the West, I expect it to be at top 250 list, This is PERFECT!
29 April 2009 | by rockyunderscoreSee all my reviews

Its been years since I last watched a great Chinese movie. Growing up in Malaysia, watching many Chinese movies, the one I most fond of was Wong Kar Wai, Tsui Hark, Stanley Tong, Jackie Chan and of course the masterful John Woo. In his movies, the elements he combined made his movie very unique and distinctive from any other Chinese films i've watched. His use of kinetic shots and slow motion gave a fresh look, if not, reinvented the action genre while Hollywood was still producing plain and boring action movies.

After nearly 18 years, John returns to Chinese cinema, with a big present install for all of us. And that is Red Cliff. Beautifully shot, big on scale, action-plenty, great performances and a smart adaptation of the historical epic, The Three kingdom makes this movie one of the best Chinese epics in decades.(with the exception of Hero) True to his style. After his last three films, i began to think whether John's losing his edge already or is it because the Hollywood system that was in the way. In this case, I choose to think the Hollywood system was the cause of it. Red Cliff shows he still have the similar trademark he use in his films. The only difference is that this movie is huge in scale.

The themes he use; brotherhood, humble and honor are one of the driving formulas which made his classic movies a hit with audience is still very visible here. Visuals are breathtaking as this is one of the greatest visual effect shots I ever seen in an Asian movie. For an Asian like me I'm very proud of that. The cinematic shots were stunning and beautiful. One which John's interpretation is still very sharp. The production behind this movie are mind blowing-ly HUGE. With the amount of extras and props used, makes any filmmaker-wannabe to ask "how did he do that?" I couldn't even imagine all the headache he has gone through for this movie.

Now, in terms of story telling, plot and character development, the elements which i mention up there surprisingly fits together. The pacing for each scene has a mind of its own. For action it goes into overdrive. Cleverly building in the battle and action, the scenes were outstanding. It almost has a classic hong kong action feel to it where every action seems to be very unpredictable. The dramatic scenes and character development fits like a shoe, as the acting boost up all the character's emotions. Whether its seriousness, ego, humor, sad or depressed all the characters has it. So, to my surprise I still can't get over the fact that John can still balance both action and drama together like he always did in his films. Two thumbs up for that. The plot came in quite well in timing. With no hesitation except for the small intro, it goes straight into the battle scenes first before any dramatic scenes take place. Slowly it builds up, from the inroduction of characters each revealing themselves in detail, to the forming of strategies to stop the invasion and ends in with an amazing climatic battle scene.

All in all, Red Cliff is one of the best movies in 2008 that I've seen. I'm gonna review Part II later. So to end this review. I gave it A MUST HAVE for people.

8.8 out of 10 ratings.


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