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John Woo’s Red Cliff Gets Full House On Opening Day

By on July 12th, 2008 | Mainland Chinese Movies

Red Cliffs poster 2

The highly anticipated epic war movie adapted from China’s classical “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” finally opened in Asian theaters on July 10th and did exceedingly well in box offices. John Woo’s “Red Cliff” boasts a star-studded cast, including Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhao Wei, Lin Chi-ling, Chang Chen, and Hu Ge. The film is part one of two and is reportedly the most expensive – some US $70 million – Chinese movie ever made.

“Red Cliff” tells of the famous and crucial battle at Red Cliffs where the overwhelming army of Cao Cao attacks the formed alliance of Sun Quan and Liu Bei.  Some divergence from the original source material has been noted:

1) Zhao Wei’s character as Sun Quan’s tomboyish sister Sun Shangxiang doesn’t exist in the novel but she is a playable character in the PlayStation 2 Dynasty Warriors video games.

2) Cao Cao is alluded to fight this war to acquire a woman, naming Xiao Qiao, who is Zhou Yu’s wife (what BS!). In the novel,  Zhuge Liang comments that Cao Cao lusted over the Qiao sisters just to provoke Zhou Yu to convince his lord Sun Quan to fight the war but Cao Cao’s ambitions and lust for power (and not women) were no doubt his reasons.

3) Takeshi Kaneshiro’s version of Zhuge Liang does not seem to be the supremely confident adviser but is depicted as having a more youthful and playful side.


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