Red Cliff (image 1)

Visually stunning Chinese historical epic ratchets the entertainment factor up to 11.

Shoji Kaori, Japan Times

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Red Cliff 2008

Chi bi

Directed by John Woo

Action maestro John Woo returns to China for this historical epic, the biggest budget Asian movie ever made. “Ratchets the entertainment factor up to 11.” — Japan Times. With Tony Leung, Kaneshiro Takeshi.

China / Japan / Korea / Taiwan / USA In Mandarin with English subtitles
148 minutes CinemaScope

Director

Producers

Terence Chang
,
John Woo
,
Han Sanping

Screenplay

John Woo
,
Chan Khan
,
Kuo Cheng
,
Sheng Heyu

Photography

Lu Yue
,
Zhang Li

Editors

Angie Lam
,
Yang Hongyu
,
Robert A. Ferretti

Music

Iwashiro Taro

With

Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Zhou Yu)
,
Kaneshiro Takeshi (Zhuge Liang)
,
Zhang Fengyi (Cao Cao)
,
Chang Chen (Sun Quan)
,
Vicki Zhao (Sun Shangxiang)
,
Hu Jun (Zhao Yun)
,
Nakamura Shido (Gan Xing)
,
Lin Chiling (Xiao Qiao)
,
You Yong (Liu Bei)
,
Hou Yong (Lu Su)

Festivals

Sydney 2009

Elsewhere

“Action maestro John Woo returns to Chinese soil and his finest form with this historical epic (the biggest budget Chinese language movie ever made) in which heroes and villains are equally complex, battle sequences are thrillingly visceral, and the spectacle is lush and abundant. Cao Cao (Zhang Fengyi), the scheming Prime Minister to the Han dynasty Emperor, leads a massive Northern army to quell the ‘rebel’ warlords of the South. He severely underestimates the wisdom of the Southern warlords and their strategists – heart-thumping performances from Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love) and Kaneshiro Takeshi (House of Flying Daggers) – and it is the friendship between allies, as much as the action, that drives Woo's extremely satisfying international version of his 5-hour, 2-part Chinese original.” — Clare Stewart, Sydney Film Festival

“The multinational production resources utilized for this cinematic recreation are unprecedented in Asia, but it is director John Woo's level-headed ordering of narrative sequence, his skill in devising kinetic live-action to off-set technical ostentation and his vision of how to turn epic into entertainment that propels Red Cliff to a thundering climax... The climactic battle lives up to popular expectations of epic filmmaking, with over 30 minutes of sophisticated military maneuvers, special effects and human drama in one continuous movement... Visceral explosions and close-ups of human carnage, combined with a few wellplaced panoramic CGI shots of the fire's domino effect on the connected fleet comes close to Titanic in achieving a sense of catastrophic grandeur.” — Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter