Red Cliff

July 10th, 2008


Red Cliff

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The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 7.3/10 (17,399 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: John Woo

Stars: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang

In the early third century, the land of Wu is invaded by the warlord Cao Cao and his million soldiers. The ruler of Wu, Sun Quan, calls on the rival warlord Liu Bei for help, but their two armies are still badly outnumbered. However, the Wu strategist Zhou Yu sees that Cao Cao's army is unused to battling on the sea, which may just give them a chance if they can exploit this weakness properly.

Writers: John Woo, Khan Chan

Tony Leung Chiu Wai - Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Takeshi Kaneshiro - Zhuge Liang
Fengyi Zhang - Cao Cao
Chen Chang - Sun Quan
Wei Zhao - Sun Shangxiang
Jun Hu - Zhao Yun
Shidô Nakamura - Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Chiling Lin - Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
Yong You - Liu Bei
Yong Hou - Lu Su
Tong Dawei - Sun Shucai
Jia Song - Li Ji
Ba Sen Zha Bu - Guan Yu
Jinsheng Zang - Zhang Fei
Shan Zhang - Huang Gai

Taglines: The future will be decided.


Official Website: Official site [China] | Official site [United States] |

Release Date: 10 July 2008

Filming Locations: Beijing, China

Box Office Details

Budget: CNY 553,632,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: KRW 1,064,848 (South Korea) (6 July 2008) (1 Screen)

Gross: $54,000,000 (Japan) (10 November 2008)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Singapore: (PG version)  | China:  | South Korea:  | UK:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

The film makers received help from the Chinese Army who lent them approximately 1500 soldiers to play extras and build roads.

Continuity: A sleeping baby is shown with blood spattered on his face in one shot, and in the next shot his face is completely clean.

[first lines]
Narrator: The year is 208 AD. After years of civil war, a deathly calm has fallen of northern China. One by one, the rebel warlords have met their end under the sword of Prime Minister Cao Cao. Now, even the Han Emperor bows before his power. Yet from the south, a challenge is heard. Two leaders arise against Cao Cao's tyranny, the aging Liu Bei, and the inexperienced Sun Quan. So Cao Cao petitions the Emperor to brand these men as traders, and declare a new war against the peaceful Southlands.

User Review

Stunning Historical Epic

Rating: 10/10

This review is of the Chinese DVD Release of the 1st film only... I cannot understand how the previous poster could feel that way about this gorgeous epic. Everything they said they hated were things I thought were well done, and wonderful about the film. Of all the people I've shared this DVD with, they've all thought it was an amazing movie also.

Ever camera shot was gorgeous. The angles were unique, without wasted punch-ins or b-roll. It's rare to find films so tastefully shot. The color was stunning, and the interpretation of the classic tale was unique and never disappointing.

Meanwhile, With all the characters, the actors each held such a powerful presence. It's very tough to develop any character singularly while you have so many important characters with their own mythos and chronicles, but each actor really held up to their image and that of the character. Kaneshiro is a very unique version of Zhuge which caught me off guard at first, but appreciated after his scene w/ the Zhou Yu. Zhou Yu was never a character I've cared for, but here, he's likable and strong. The best "fresh" interpretation though was that of Guan Yu. Instead of being "just another" honourable and strong warrior, he's rather a warrior-scholar, more intelligent, and more personality than ever before.

My only true quarrel is that it ends prematurely (that is, until we see the 2nd half in 2009). I just wish they could have done the whole saga instead of this little piece.

Thank you John Woo for one of the finest Three Kingdom movies ever! I believe this is a great direction for your talents! You've woven the action you're so famous for with a deep, heartfelt classic tale! Wonderful job!


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