My husband clued me in on this after seeing it on Apple’s trailer site. My initial impression was that it reminded me of Bernardo Bertolucci’s Chinese epic The Last Emperor I saw in Jr High. Directed by John Woo, the Chinese director returned to his roots after making a string of Hollywood blockbusters — i.e. Broken Arrow, Face/Off and Mission Impossible II — with his most ambitious project to date. The epic reportedly cost US$80m to make, making it the most expensive Chinese-language film ever made. Check out the impressive trailer with its grand battle scenes:
Here’s the plot courtesy of FirstShowing.net:
Red Cliff is an epic Chinese-language adventure drama that stars Tony Leung (Lust, Caution) as Zhou Yu, Takeshi Kaneshiro (House of Flying Daggers) as Zhuge Liang, and Zhang Fengyi as Cao Cao, and tells the sprawling tale of the battle of Red Cliff, in which the imperial army took on warlords throughout the Chinese empire in a period at the end of the Han Dynasty.
The visual looks compelling enough to check out on the big screen. I quite like Woo’s stylish direction — Face/Off remains one of my favorite action movies — and his trademarks of slow motion/freeze framing and the flying white dove are definitely intact here. Starring the who’s who of Chinese cinema, the movie underwent some casting changes as Ken Watanabe and Chow Yun-Fat were initially attached to the project.
Former pop-star singer turned actor Takeshi Kaneshiro — who’s dubbed the Asian Johnny Depp — was in critically acclaimed Wong Kar-Wai film Chungking Express.
The original film was released in two parts in Asia — released in July 2008 and January 2009 — totaling 4.5 hours in length. However, it’s been condensed to 2.5 hours for North America release, and will be released in limited theaters starting November 13 (see full schedule on Magnolia Pictures site).
Check out the super cool looking poster at FirstShowing site here.