Not a sequel, but simply part 2 of what is ultimately a single, 4.5 hour long movie, Red Cliff 2 picks up the story exactly where the first movie ended. While Red Cliff was about the buildup to the final conflict, Red Cliff 2 is all about the enormous battle. As such, there is scant character development here, but all the more plot and action to savour. Director John Woo does a great job of showing the tactics of the battlefield, and things never devolve into a muddled mess of soldiers, weapons and death. And when the battle finally explodes, Woo dips his directorial brush in a hellish volcano of fire and blood, and paints the screen with huge, bold strokes - truly, the pyrotechnics on display here are on a level I've never seen before. Fire, fire everywhere! An impressive epic, indeed!