Always a sucker for a John Woo film I stumbled upon this epic set of films quite by accident. Split into two movies and with a production cost of right at $80 million Red Cliff or “Chi Bi” is the most expensive Asian financed film ever made.
From start to finish the scenery and cinematography is astounding. Woo stages heart-stopping action and battle scenes on a scale that defy description—while still managing to tell the story behind this legendary tale of action, adventure and romance. Red Cliff is without a doubt one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.
Based on the legendary 208 A.D. battle that marked the end of the Han Dynasty. Red Cliff opens as power hungry Prime Minister-turned-General Cao Cao seeks permission from the Han dynasty Emperor to crush the two troublesome warlords, Liu Bei and Sun Quan.
Cao Cao’s troops rain destruction on Liu Bei’s army, forcing him into retreat. Liu Bei’s military strategist, Zhuge Liang knows that the rebels’ only hope for survival is to form an alliance with rival warlord Sun Quan, and reaches out to Sun Quan’s trusted advisor, war hero Zhou Yu. Vastly outnumbered by Cao Cao’s brutal, fast-approaching army, the warlords band together to mount a heroic campaign – unrivaled in history – that changes the face of China forever.