RED CLIFF PART 1 | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

RED CLIFF PART 1

With a budget of US$80million, "Red Cliff" is the most expensive Asian-financed film to date. The movie is based on historical records of "The Chronicles of the Three Kingdom" rather than the novel, "Romance of the Three Kingdom". In the early third century, the land of Wu is invaded by the warlord Cao Cao and his soldiers. The ruler of Wu, Sun Quan (Chang Chen), calls on the rival warlord Liu Bei (You Yong) for help, but their two armies are still badly outnumbered. However, the strategists Zhou Yu (Tony Leung) and Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro) see that Cao Cao`s army is unused to battling on the sea. With 200,000 men, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang defeat Cao Cao`s army at the Yangtze River.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 17 Jul 2008
Genre: Epic / War
Running Time: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
Distributor: Golden Screen Cinemas
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Lin Chi Ling, Chang Chen
Director: John Woo
Format: 35MM

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: "Warlords", "Three Kingdoms", "Battle Of Wits"

15 minutes into watching this historical reconstruction, it becomes apparent that the most expensive Chinese movie ever made will have to settle for that distinction only. Chow Yun Fatt, no wonder you walked away from John Woo!

Perhaps the pill would have been easier to swallow if the idea of combining and shortening parts 1 and 2 for the Western market was also used for us in Asia. As it stands, having seen half of the finished product, "Red Cliff" is an overly ambitious and convoluted war epic that would have worked better if a less serious approach were taken. Sammo Hung and Andy Lau listening to Maggie Q playing music in the middle of the battlefield back in April's "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection Of The Dragon" comes to mind.

If the celebrated director himself can concede that the single package for the West is done because too many characters look and sound alike, you would have thought that maybe its just a bow to cultural discrepancies. After all, the Chinese know this story by heart. We have read it a million times. However, somewhere in those battle formations, an honest attempt to capture the voluminous events that happened in the literature became impossible. Many scenes did little to improve the story and there is only so much feudal warfare we can watch before we demand for some subtler drama.

Too bad that came in the form of the smug Takeshi Kaneshiro, always nodding away and ever so pleased with himself. The cast did well, come to think of it. They were only let down by the uneven direction of a monumentally expensive production. Since when was "Financial Controller" someone whose name appears in opening credits for movies? That's right - he's the guy who has to get John Woo's pigeons in, while making sure the extras get a good meal. Poor fellow.

Worse, no sex was featured and Taiwanese model Lin Chi Ling was totally wasted. How I miss "The Banquet" and "Curse Of The Golden Flower" now!

Well, this will be worth watching to note its inadequacies. I will wait for another retelling.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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