Red Cliff (Chi Bi) Reviews

  • Jun 19, 2020

    I wrote a much longer review of the combined American Theatrical Version of Red Cliff where they cut the full 5-hour runtime in half (you can find that on my Letterboxd reviews.) I adored that version, and was delighted to finally watch the complete two-part international cut of the film. I won’t go into some of the finer details of why I loved this film as I addressed that thoroughly in the original review, but let’s talk about what’s different about this first half of the story. It seems that the bulk of the content they cut for American audiences came from this part of the film. There is so much character development, and exploration of motivations that is fleshed out here. I love getting to know these people in a deeper way, and seeing what makes them tick. There was one character in particular whose connection to the war seemed out of place and odd the first time I watched. But with this complete cut I discovered details about her name, her family, and so much more. She went from a glorified extra, to one of the main characters. Some of the battle-strategy and tactics that I loved from the movie are present here, although Part 1 feels a lot like the preamble to the story. I’m glad all of this exists, but I don’t think each chapter would work well on their own. Part 1 just leaves you wanting to know so much more, and to see the completion of the war. But there are still some amazing battles depicted in this part of the film. I love how John Woo blends some of his more superhuman fighting moments with the gritty war footage. It does a great job of making the key combatants stand out in a crowd. All of them are given amazing skills that some viewers might consider a bit too powerful. But I like watching one guy take on a whole troop of soldiers and laying waste to all of them with his finely-tuned skill. Red Cliff: Part 1 is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the exploration of the art of war. I am excited to see all the rest in Part 2. As a piece of the puzzle, I’m delighted to have seen Part 1, but from now on I’ll always watch the complete 5-hour epic in one shot.

    I wrote a much longer review of the combined American Theatrical Version of Red Cliff where they cut the full 5-hour runtime in half (you can find that on my Letterboxd reviews.) I adored that version, and was delighted to finally watch the complete two-part international cut of the film. I won’t go into some of the finer details of why I loved this film as I addressed that thoroughly in the original review, but let’s talk about what’s different about this first half of the story. It seems that the bulk of the content they cut for American audiences came from this part of the film. There is so much character development, and exploration of motivations that is fleshed out here. I love getting to know these people in a deeper way, and seeing what makes them tick. There was one character in particular whose connection to the war seemed out of place and odd the first time I watched. But with this complete cut I discovered details about her name, her family, and so much more. She went from a glorified extra, to one of the main characters. Some of the battle-strategy and tactics that I loved from the movie are present here, although Part 1 feels a lot like the preamble to the story. I’m glad all of this exists, but I don’t think each chapter would work well on their own. Part 1 just leaves you wanting to know so much more, and to see the completion of the war. But there are still some amazing battles depicted in this part of the film. I love how John Woo blends some of his more superhuman fighting moments with the gritty war footage. It does a great job of making the key combatants stand out in a crowd. All of them are given amazing skills that some viewers might consider a bit too powerful. But I like watching one guy take on a whole troop of soldiers and laying waste to all of them with his finely-tuned skill. Red Cliff: Part 1 is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the exploration of the art of war. I am excited to see all the rest in Part 2. As a piece of the puzzle, I’m delighted to have seen Part 1, but from now on I’ll always watch the complete 5-hour epic in one shot.

  • Jun 18, 2020

    If you like cruelty to animals this is the film for you. Disgusting

    If you like cruelty to animals this is the film for you. Disgusting

  • Jun 17, 2020

    A well shot and and entertaining movie based on the characters of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Notice I didn't say based on a chapter, because John Woo took some big liberties with the plot and crafted something with his own spin. I can live with it and was often in awe of the spectacle of the war scenes, however, the female characters and what they've been given (ESPECIALLY Lin Chi-Ling) are overly sentimental and cheapened the entire experience. Lin can't act her way out of a paper bag and it is very distracting. Overall, still an epic tale that borders on 5 hours long.

    A well shot and and entertaining movie based on the characters of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Notice I didn't say based on a chapter, because John Woo took some big liberties with the plot and crafted something with his own spin. I can live with it and was often in awe of the spectacle of the war scenes, however, the female characters and what they've been given (ESPECIALLY Lin Chi-Ling) are overly sentimental and cheapened the entire experience. Lin can't act her way out of a paper bag and it is very distracting. Overall, still an epic tale that borders on 5 hours long.

  • Jun 03, 2020

    Late in the eveing I started watching it on YouTube. 2:35 is a looong movie. Ha! I watched it all the to the end. Lots of action and fantastic camera work.

    Late in the eveing I started watching it on YouTube. 2:35 is a looong movie. Ha! I watched it all the to the end. Lots of action and fantastic camera work.

  • Jun 10, 2018

    It's a high budget Hollywood style movie by John Woo, who is well recognized director in many US Jet Li films. However, aside from historical inaccuracy, the fight scenes were pretty much ninja turtlesque... Come on, 5 guys defeat 10s of thousands of troops? Ridiculous. It just more a kungfu movie than "historical drama." but perhaps what is most ridiculous is the need to push modern SJW progressive lunacy in the plot line. Seriously, ancient China would not have allowed much of Zao Wei's character to run amok like that. Totally unrealistic and stupid.

    It's a high budget Hollywood style movie by John Woo, who is well recognized director in many US Jet Li films. However, aside from historical inaccuracy, the fight scenes were pretty much ninja turtlesque... Come on, 5 guys defeat 10s of thousands of troops? Ridiculous. It just more a kungfu movie than "historical drama." but perhaps what is most ridiculous is the need to push modern SJW progressive lunacy in the plot line. Seriously, ancient China would not have allowed much of Zao Wei's character to run amok like that. Totally unrealistic and stupid.

  • Apr 24, 2018

    Epic film of a battle from real life Chinese history.

    Epic film of a battle from real life Chinese history.

  • May 21, 2017

    I saw the short version (this) but it seems the long two-part version is better. Epic story and battles but so much looked so advanced that I checked for accuracy. It is not appart from the costumes, see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3t22nj/is_the_movie_red_cliff_historically_accurate/ Very good film but we are not learning much facts about the era with this film.

    I saw the short version (this) but it seems the long two-part version is better. Epic story and battles but so much looked so advanced that I checked for accuracy. It is not appart from the costumes, see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/3t22nj/is_the_movie_red_cliff_historically_accurate/ Very good film but we are not learning much facts about the era with this film.

  • Jan 11, 2017

    I saw the short version and it thrilled me . A powerful story that is told in a powerful film. The scenery, the movement of the camera, the wonderful choreography of battles, the smart/ sharp/ some-times-funny dialogues/script, serve well to this masterpiece. I just obtained the original extended version and I'm more than longing to get a bucket of popcorn to just sit there and watch it.

    I saw the short version and it thrilled me . A powerful story that is told in a powerful film. The scenery, the movement of the camera, the wonderful choreography of battles, the smart/ sharp/ some-times-funny dialogues/script, serve well to this masterpiece. I just obtained the original extended version and I'm more than longing to get a bucket of popcorn to just sit there and watch it.

  • Oct 18, 2016

    Periodically things like amateurish cinematography or mediocre CGI would remind me that China's film industry is still in its adolescence. All things considered though, I'd say the kid has got potential! This turned out to be a big-budget epic period drama that was really quite good.

    Periodically things like amateurish cinematography or mediocre CGI would remind me that China's film industry is still in its adolescence. All things considered though, I'd say the kid has got potential! This turned out to be a big-budget epic period drama that was really quite good.

  • Aug 21, 2016

    With beautiful cinematography and excellent battle sequences that are dazzling and entertaining, Red Cliff is one of John Woo's best works and should be required of action film fans.

    With beautiful cinematography and excellent battle sequences that are dazzling and entertaining, Red Cliff is one of John Woo's best works and should be required of action film fans.