Red Cliff (赤壁 - Chìbì)/ The Battle of Red Cliff is a Chinese epic movie that comes in 2 parts. It is set during the events during the End of Han Dynasty. Just like many other epic Chinese movies, the Red Cliff Part 1, sees 2 groups teaming up & collaborating to fight against their enemies.
The 'good team' is lead by Zhou Yu (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). And together with the mighty spirit & tomboyish princess of Sun Shangxiang (Zao Wei), they managed to pull off the first attack despite their lack in army numbers.
In between, the 2 strategists show their war strategies & ideas which allow them to win rather effortlessly.
Why You Should Watch This Movie
1. The war strategies were superb. Unlike most battlefield movies that head to shoot/ kill with the usual attack plan, this movie introduces the Chinese war styles that is rather uncommon and good in trapping the enemies. This makes some of the war scenes very interesting & 'new'.
2. Beautiful sceneries & backdrop location in China, makes this a breathtaking movie journey.
3. There is some impart of lessons on life & Chinese culture which is done very subtly.
1. The first 45 minutes was just a lil too complicated & without much direction. The war battlefield right at the start of the movie didn't help and in fact was a lil boring, especially when there weren't much clue yet.
2. This movie seems at times a lil loose and just a lil too much focus on the expressions of the actors faces. In some ways, it just seems like it is a big budget art film because of its rather long pauses.
Conclusion & Movie Rating
John Woo's attempt in making a Chinese epic is much desirable in bringing Asian movies to a new level. It is an ambitious attempt, which he has succeeded. He would have done much better if the script was tighter & the beginning a lil more clearer.
This movie should appeal to a wide audience including the non Asians for its Oriental appeal (script & philosophies). Definitely one of the better Chinese epic war movies and for that matter, one of the better war movies.
Red Cliff Trailer
Friday, July 25, 2008