Director John Woo cleverly displays the Art of War through chess-like tactics and strategies in “Red Cliff”. Large military forces clash, countering each other’s movements in a test of wits between opposing generals. Terrain and weather are factors that lead to victory or defeat. By land and by water, armies and navies clash. The time is ancient China, General Cao Cao (Fengi Zhang) convinces the young emperor of the Han Dynasty to declare war against the southern provinces. The only chance of survival for the southern provinces is to unite against the large Han army and navy. Southern warlords that were once rivals must cooperate so that their lands do not become annexed by the northern armies.
Look for eye opening military dispositions and the ingenious strategies that were used in pre-modern warfare. Huge scenes with numerous military combatants. Archers raining arrows, swords swinging from horse-back, and close quarter combat. Nothing in the aspect of combat is missing in “Red Cliff”, even chemical warfare is used as General Cao Cao sends contagious diseased corpses to the camp of his enemies.
Jayson Solomons of theguardian.com says: “You’ll be left breathless at the efficacy of the tortoise formation”
“Red Cliff” is a huge cinematic work of art. Director John Woo exhibits his genius. This film is intelligent, thrilling and simply superb. very much worth checking out.