Red Cliff: DVD Review
The Battle of Red Cliff
Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Released by Warner Home
Director John Woo returns to Chinese soil
with millions of dollars in Red Cliff, a historical epic about Cao Cao (Zhang
Fengyi), and the scheming Prime Minister to the Han dynasty Emperor.
The Prime Minister is leading a massive Northern army
to quell the rebel warlords of the South.
with sumptuous battle scenes and brutal recreations of the battles which
dominated Chinese history, Red Cliff is in places a visual treat. Don't get me
wrong, while it looks gorgeous - it is probably a dream film for those who want
to study how wars were conducted in years gone by.
But it's ever so slightly hollow - I wasn't quite sure whether some
of the close ups of the evil Prime Minister laughing sinisterly were ironic -
because if not, they certainly verge on the hammy.
The Battle of Red Cliff is a good story which appears to have been
told with a set formula in mind and that hasn't helped.
That said, the battle scenes are quite stunning in places (even if it
does come with Woo's trademark slow mo shots)- Red Cliff is an interesting film
which doesn't quite engage 100% but as a spectacle it looks fabulous.
Extras: Interview with director John Woo, and
a behind the scenes doco