Red Cliff (Chi bi)

Red Cliff (Chi bi)

Red Cliff (Chi bi)

John Woo's period epic - the most expensive Chinese-language film ever made - set in 208 AD and based on the legendary Battle of Red Cliff in which a force of fifty thousand defeated an army of nearly one million.

In 208 AD China, during the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minister 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. 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.

2008148 minsChina, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, USAMandarin with English subtitles
ActionAdventureDramaWarHistoricalEpic
Director:
John Woo ('Hard Boiled', 'Mission: Impossible II', 'Face/Off', 'Broken Arrow', 'The Killer')
Writer:
John WooKhan ChanCheng KuoHeyu Sheng
Cast:
Tony LeungTakeshi KaneshiroZhang FengyiChang Chen

Reviews & comments

Not As Good As The Chinese Release

Why is it, that in China this film gets released in two separate parts equaling almost five hours yet the Western release's run time is about half that. To add insult to injury we have to sit through several minutes of embarrassingly bad American narration to explain that era of Chinese history, it sounded too similar to the animated Star Wars film. Why...

4.0

not as good

as I thought it would be. Liked his earlier pictures (The Killer, Hard Boiled). This one seemed more of the same as his other films and I can see where Quinten Tarentino got some of his ideas from. Still it was a Chinese Braveheart with a million extras so I can't be too critical

2.0
Variety

Variety

press

Balances character, grit, spectacle and visceral action in a meaty, dramatically satisfying pie that delivers on the hype and will surprise many who felt the Hong Kong helmer progressively lost his mojo during his long years stateside...

Total Film

Total Film

press

Woo aimed for “an Asian Troy”, but any similarities to Wolfgang Petersen’s schlockbuster are purely coincidental – this is a sweeping, stirring breath-snatcher that finds the director on his finest form since Face/Off. Even half-cut, it’s a whole lot of epic.

4.0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

To anyone who has never seen an epic Chinese screen production outside last year's Olympic Games ceremony, this might be a good place to start. It has spectacle, scenery, history, legend and an impressive array of Asian stars bundled into one grand banquet. But it could have been grander.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Although this is hailed as Woo's "homecoming" after his Hollywood tenure, hardcore disciples of his Hong Kong oeuvre will be straining hard to find the all-stops-out passion and sinewy machismo that ignited his bullet ballets such as "A Better Tomorrow" or "The Killer"...

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Camp, over-the-top and entirely unbelievable: in short, the best thing John Woo has made in years.

4.0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

With Red Cliff, Woo manages to do what his Hollywood contemporaries could not do with Troy or Alexander; he has made the historical epic fun, credible, and a Brad Pitt- and Orlando Bloom-free zone.

Variety

Variety

press

Balances character, grit, spectacle and visceral action in a meaty, dramatically satisfying pie that delivers on the hype and will surprise many who felt the Hong Kong helmer progressively lost his mojo during his long years stateside...

Total Film

Total Film

press

Woo aimed for “an Asian Troy”, but any similarities to Wolfgang Petersen’s schlockbuster are purely coincidental – this is a sweeping, stirring breath-snatcher that finds the director on his finest form since Face/Off. Even half-cut, it’s a whole lot of epic.

4.0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

To anyone who has never seen an epic Chinese screen production outside last year's Olympic Games ceremony, this might be a good place to start. It has spectacle, scenery, history, legend and an impressive array of Asian stars bundled into one grand banquet. But it could have been grander.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Although this is hailed as Woo's "homecoming" after his Hollywood tenure, hardcore disciples of his Hong Kong oeuvre will be straining hard to find the all-stops-out passion and sinewy machismo that ignited his bullet ballets such as "A Better Tomorrow" or "The Killer"...

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Camp, over-the-top and entirely unbelievable: in short, the best thing John Woo has made in years.

4.0
Christchurch Press

Christchurch Press

press

With Red Cliff, Woo manages to do what his Hollywood contemporaries could not do with Troy or Alexander; he has made the historical epic fun, credible, and a Brad Pitt- and Orlando Bloom-free zone.

Not As Good As The Chinese Release

Why is it, that in China this film gets released in two separate parts equaling almost five hours yet the Western release's run time is about half that. To add insult to injury we have to sit through several minutes of embarrassingly bad American narration to explain that era of Chinese history, it sounded too similar to the animated Star Wars film. Why...

4.0

not as good

as I thought it would be. Liked his earlier pictures (The Killer, Hard Boiled). This one seemed more of the same as his other films and I can see where Quinten Tarentino got some of his ideas from. Still it was a Chinese Braveheart with a million extras so I can't be too critical

2.0