Red Cliff II

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User Ratings: 4,936
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Movie Info

The allied forces of Sun Quan and Liu Bei continue to fight the imperial forces led by Cao Cao in a series of land and sea battles.

Cast & Crew

Wei Zhao
Sun Shangxiang
Jun Hu
Zhao Yun
John Woo
Director
John Woo
Screenwriter
Chan Hon
Screenwriter
Cheng Kuo
Screenwriter
Heyu Sheng
Screenwriter
Xiaofeng Hu
Executive Producer
John Woo
Producer
Tarô Iwashiro
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for Red Cliff Part II (Chi Bi 2)

All Critics (1) | Fresh (1)

Audience Reviews for Red Cliff Part II (Chi Bi 2)

  • Dec 25, 2012
    John Woo's epic movie about the historical Chinese battle at the red cliffs has everything you expect from a film of such a scale: interesting characters that grow on you, a great soundtrack, huge spectacle and gorgeous shots, lots of (surprisingly unbloody ) fights and battles, some of which are of course as exaggerated and silly as expected from Asian cinema. Even the shorter cut of the film feels a bit long in the middle part. But the final battle and all the tactics that come with it are really great and offer very enthralling entertainment. It all culminates in an almost Tarantino-esque standoff between the main characters that literally has you on the edge of your seat. Thankfully, while some of his trademarks can be found throughout the film, Woo does not go overboard with his slow-motions or dramatically flying doves. Of course he still had to add a dove, though. Still, great and huge historical cinema.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2012
    "Red Cliff II: Electric Booga-Woo". John Woo's return to form has returned, and we're just now getting to what they're refering to in the title, which amazes me more than shocks me, because I couldn't see how they could come up with enough material for just one two-and-a-half hour epic about the kid who played Harry Potter. Get it, Radcliffe sounds like Red Cliff? Yeah, I'm sorry, that was lame, though it's not quite the biggest stretch in the world to compare these films to a fantasy film, because as far as ambition, production, lengthiness and, to a certain degree, story structure are concerned, these films are basically, as I said in my review of the first installment, the Asian "Lord of the Rings", only, as I also said in my review of the first installment, not nearly as good. I'd compare this to "Gettysburg", except the glaring difference is that people actually saw these films and that the Asians were sane enough to split their five hour mamma-jamma into two films, which is probably why people saw it, because as much as I liked "Gettysburg" and can sit through something for a long time, the only film that runs well over four hours that I can see sitting through in the theaters with no break is the extended version of the third, well, "Lord of the Rings". Actually, I think that I will revert to my original thought that this is basically the Chinese "Gettysburg", for there are more major lines of comparison than lines of contrast, as these films are also about a climactic and lengthy battle during a culture-changing war, have quite a bit more dialogue than action, a lot of action when it finally gets around to it and, of course, very much outstay their welcome. Okay, maybe these films aren't quite as overlong as "Gettysburg", yet even if they were, I guess I wouldn't mind too much (Unless I had to see them in the theater, of course), because at the end of the day it takes to watch these films ("Oh hardy-har-har, I haven't said that before"), they're still pretty good films, though the first wasn't without its fair share of somewhat considerably damaging faults, and this follow-up is definately no exception. I went into this film fearing that it really would feel like a part two, in that it would be structured and told in a fashion that's organic only as a direct continuation, thus rendering its, if nothing else, early parts to feel inorganic by their own right, yet to my relief, this film feels distinct, though isn't without a couple of missteps that were found in the first installment. The first installment had the fewest of rushed occasions, yet those occasions were indeed rare to begin with and have been done away with in this film, yet a momentum problem that hurt the film considerably more, in both prevalence and effectiveness, was of an overdrawn kind, as the first installment tackled too much for its own good and this film does just the same. This film, like its predecessor, is overlong, not so much through repetition, but through simply tackling too much material that convoluted focus and dragged the film out to the poing of losing steam on more than a few occasions, and that situation is made even worse with this film, as the film not only tackles too much material, but tackles it from too many angles, or rather, through too many blasted subplots. Rather unexpectedly, this film introduces a slew of subplots that plop in not quite as comfortably as they should, for although the film smooths out its thick layers a reasonable bit as things progress, the film's layers are never bumpless, with occasions in which they really render the film rocky, mildly convoluted and rather incapable of holding on to a certain degree of steam. Although this film remains a return to form for John Woo, as I'll get into later, it hits missteps that Woo should know better than to hit, go so far as to be overstylized, not at all relentlessly, but enough so for you to often find yourself thrown off on more than a few occasions. Now, that flaw of overstylizing really isn't all that problematic by its own right, yet it is detrimental to the effectiveness of the film as a symbol, standing as a broad example of Woo's faults with this film, which may be not much more than a little bit over moderate, yet do throw off this film and leave it to collapse beneath the overall quality of its also faulty predecessor. However, this film's descent beneath its predecessor is quite the close call, for although the film's faults, married with certain aspects that are surprisingly not so conceptually potent, for every couple of faults, there are many strokes of compensation that may not redeem the film for its faults, yet provide a few strengths that are actually more impressive here than they were in the predecessor, while holding onto strengths that are just as they good as were in the predecessor, and boy, is that good. Lü Yue and Zhang Li continue their duties as photography directors, and are just as remarkable as they were in the last film, delivering handsomely detailed and colorful definition, as well as many a slick and sweeping shot that captures both the style and grandness of the epic whose sweep goes complimented by the clever photography, as well as by the dazzlingly intricate production designs. In those stylistic and technical departments, as well as far as fine visual effects and excellent score work by Tarō Iwashiro are concerned, this film delivers as upstandingly as its predecessor did, yet the distinctiveness in this film lays within its using its stylistic and technical value in uniqely clever fashions, particularly when action comes into play. As outstanding as the first installment's action was, the action sequences were practically the film's bookends, and here, there's not quite as much action as you would expect out of the final chapter of an epic war saga, yet make no mistake, there's still plenty of action, which John Woo consistently delivers on as well as he did in the last film, with a couple of moments in which he goes quite a few steps beyond the best of the action of the last film, taking into consideration the radical expansion of the battles and concieving massive set pieces graced with unique staging, clever dynamicity and dazzling sweep. Once this film finds its moments to step into action, it charges in, with lengthy set pieces that rarely, if ever lose steam in the midst of its grandness, complimented by the aforementioned stylistic and technical supplementation, while going graced by John Woo's drawing substance from the style and giving the action weight, and by extension, intensified intensity. Outside of the action, John Woo's dramatic depth is, to my relief, short on the melodrama that plagued the first installment, yet still goes plagued by other undercutting aspects that do tend to restrain dramatic bite here and there, yet on the whole, Woo actually restrains much of the melodrama that plagued the drama of the first film, while enhancing the truly genuine dramatic depth that made the drama of the first film as generally strong as it was, thus making for resonance that's much more often than not effective, and considerably so, drawing from the depth and essence of this story's and its human components' with grace that may not move you to a choke-up, let alone a tear or two, yet gives this film an energy that typically catches your investment. Tension, dramatic emotion and other pieces of resonance go handled imperfectly, yet generally sharply by Woo, who (Woo-Who; oops, just went Dr. Seuss there for a second), with the help of his many fine performers, gives this film the weight needed to compel you, while also delivering on a consistent energy of intrigue and entertainment value within the resonance to keep you engaged. Now, with all of my praise, these strengths aren't quite as prevalent or even quite as remarkable as I'm making them seem, and even if they were, the film's shortcomings do land more than a few blows to the steam of the final product, yet when it's all said and done, what faults made that bump this film beneath its predecessor go succeeded by aspects that are just as good, if not better here than they were in the predecessor, and while that's still not quite enough for this film to break even and stand on par with its predecessor, it is enough to make a worthy conclusion to John Woo's saga, as well as a thoroughly entertaining, when not fairly effective experience by its own right. Climbing down from this cliff, it's hard to not look back and think about the film's somewhat excessive length, made worse by too many a layer that chokes the film's substance, with the help of moments of overstylizing and many other moments where the film simply fails to land all that firm of a bite, leaving it to collapse as inferior to its predecessor, yet just barely, coming close to breaking even by playing up slick and sweeping cinematography, stellar production designs, fine visual effects and lovely score work as sharply as the predecessor did, while stepping up the knockout action, as well as, to a certain degree, and with the help of strong performances, dramatic depth, which may be undercut here and there, yet generally strikes, breathing strong resonance into the execution of this fine story that sustains your investment, while consistent entertainment value sustains your attention, thus leaving "Red Cliff II" to stand as an entertaining, sometimes poignant and altogether rewarding conclusion to John Woo's epic retelling of the legendary Battle of Red Cliff. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2011
    Excellent movie. John Woo brings ancient China to life again in the second part of the legendary battle of Red Cliff. Again the acting was superb from Asia's finest actors, who are given a lot more dramatic depth than the first part, and the visuals and cinematography were amazing. The battle scenes were jaw dropping, with great sword play, and I loved the chemistry between Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro.
    Jonny C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2011
    With the successful implementation of <i>Red Cliff</i>, John Woo finishes up his story with <i>Red Cliff II</i>.<p>During the opening credits of this picture, there is a catchup session that explains what has happened so far from the first <i>Red Cliff</i> installment. However, this is more of a refresher for those who have seen the first film and not a fill in for those who haven't. Watching the first movie is highly recommended.</p><p>So, the character introductions and development are out of the way and with no more major characters to introduce, this 2 hour 20 minute film needs to rely on the story and the action. Yes, most of the story is built up, but John Woo is able to keep things interesting as the two sides seemingly outwit each other to get the upper hand before the final battle. It is a bit slow at times, especially with all the action appearing at the end, but the film is still able to entertain.</p><p>The final 40 minutes consists of a single large scale battle. The martial arts choreography is cut back as Woo focuses less on single character fights and more on the battle as a whole. The usage of fire and unique battle formations make for some creative action sequences until the conclusive showdown.</p><p>All of the cast return yet again and it is the same Takeshi Kaneshiro and Zhao Wei, who has a more integral role this time around, that entertain the most.</p><p><i>Red Cliff II</i> is a good sequel and continuation. Fans of the first film will enjoy this one as well.
    JY S Super Reviewer

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