Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Red Cliff (Chi bi) (2008) - Drama
Red Cliff (Chi bi) (2008) - Written by John Woo and a host of others and directed by Woo, this historical story looks at the battle of Red Cliff. In this battle a smaller force defeated the ambitions of Prime Minister Cao Cao (Fengyi Zhang) of the Eastern Han dynasty during the Three Kingdoms era of China around 208 AD. In this battle the imperial army want to crush the southern warlords Sun Quan (Chen Chang) and Liu Bei (Yong You)and bring total control to the emperor who is controlled by Cao Cao. The Prime minister brings his massive fleet down river and the movie shows how the smaller southern army is able to win the battle. Done with flair and personality, Woo creates a cadre of characters who shine in this film. The southern warlords each have distinct personalities to play against the ruthlessness of the northern Prime Minister. Through there friendships individual skills are united to defeat the invading force. The final battle is a wonder to watch and Woo is an artist at this form of action. There is a secondary story of the wife of Sun Quan (Wei Zhao) and how the Prime minister loved her from the moment he saw her many years earlier that plays a part in his demise. Visually and musically this film hits all the right notes. I would have enjoyed a bit more character development for some of the secondary characters but see how this could have taken away from the primary story. I watched this with a couple people who are not real fans of this kind of movie but both came away saying they really enjoyed it. If you can read subtitles that at times were fast, you will enjoy this war epic.