Kurt's Review of Red Cliff Part II (Chi Bi 2)
So finally the Battle of Red Cliff had dawned, or so I thought... It looked like from the first Red Cliff we were just about ready for the big attack but in fact we actually still have a long way to go, not that that was a totally bad thing although I was bursting for some more action. This film focuses more on the generals using tactics to disrupt the enemy through means other than on the battlefield, tricks to destroy moral and the effectiveness of each faction's troops.
There is really some ingenious and interesting tactics they use from sending boat loads of leukaemia ridden corpses to the strategists predicting weather forecasts. My favourite scene has to be when the coalition of Shu and Wu are desperately in need of arrows so they send boats loaded with straw out under the cover of a mist so the enemy can't see what's in the boats, just a figure on the horizon. Wei release a hail of arrows upon the boats and the vessels simply catch the arrows in its straw, magic 100,000 arrows obtained. It might sound a little unrealistic but I assure you it was marvellously executed. One of the greatest things is the score that has been used within these scenes; all these Chinese melodies give you a real feel for the time and story and create some of the best atmosphere I have felt.
Finally after about maybe an hour and a half the battle begins but even during this battle you will not see nearly as much action as was in the first Red Cliff but what you will see is stupendous amount of fire from this point until the end, in fact it started to give me a headache. Again just as visually stunning as before and gives you an ideal grasp of the sorts of tactics and formations used within ancient china. The movie also offers a small love story throughout which is somewhat interesting but ultimately there wasn't as much action as the first part of this tale to be as eye catching, still a marvellous film to watch.