03 July 2011
The movie takes place in the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" era of China which, according to a wikipedia article, puts us between 169 and 280 CE. It's an incredible story of heroism wherein a tyrant named Cao Cao is apparently trying to usurp the Emperor by way of personally gathering up as much power as possible, and he's been fairly successful. The man is apparently a genius as well as a powerful warrior, so he's currently got more land and soldiers than both of his main rivals (Liu Bei and Sun Jian) put together. But all is not lost.
Cao Cao is an unpopular man, despite his army, and Liu Bei is a great leader and is able to attract powerful generals to his army. Sun Jian owns good land and has capable generals as well. But they're outnumbered and very likely outmaneuvered as well.
The movie follows the tactician, Zhou Yu, who defeats Cao Cao's overwhelming naval forces at the Battle of Red Cliff, which the movie is named after. It's a pretty good flick- the audio is in Chinese but the subtitles are clear and easy to read. The action is brisk, the dialogue is good, the actors show a lot of emotion, and the fighting is badass. I know it's the style over there, but the over-the-top action is pretty cool to watch. I'm not normally a big fan of martial arts-style movies, but Red Cliff is what's up.
It's on Netflix, go watch it. Seriously, it's really cool.