8:00 PM, 29th October, 2009
Based on a section of the classic Chinese novel, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", Red Cliff is set during the 3rd century - the Han dynasty is in decline, and various new factions have sprung up, each with their own agendas and visions for the future of China. Cao Cao (Zhang) is the most powerful and his million man army is marching to capture Liu Bei (You Yong). Liu Bei's advisor Zhuge Liang (Kaneshiro), a master tactician, suggests allying with Sun Quan (Chang), ruler of the Southland; and Zhuge Liang and Quan's army's leader, Zhou Yu (Leung) plan one last stand against the armada that approaches.
Think that was an epic description? Well, the movie's just as epic. Director John Woo gives us armies that compare to Lord of the Rings in size and sweeping shots that pass by so that we can appreciate it all. And just wait until you see what Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu come up with tactically - it's all very engaging and the story is regarded as the best fictional/historical telling of applications of Sun Tzu's Art of War.
Red Cliff sees Woo return to his Chinese roots, and also his form. And the Chinese have rewarded his efforts appropriately - Red Cliff has set new box office records there. The only problem will be that once you've seen it, you'll want to know more about the world of the Three Kingdoms!