I’ve been a fan of John Woo ever since I saw Hard Boiled, and to this day, that film and The Killer rank as two of my favorite films of all time. Over the years, though, it felt like Woo was becoming a shadow of his former self after making the transition to Hollywood. Of course, it didn’t help that countless action films have ripped off his style, but moreso, Woo’s Hollywood films just didn’t have that “spark” that his Hong Kong productions had.
Which is why it’s so exciting to hear that his first project upon returning to Asia — the two part The Battle of Red Cliff — has recaptured the magic. The most expensive Chinese film ever made, The Battle of Red Cliff was based on historical events surrounding the Battle of Red Cliffs, a famous battle that brought about the end of the Han Dynasty in 208 A.D. The film has been gathering accolades left and right, is now making it to American theatres, albeit as a single, 2 1/2 hour long film simply titled Red Cliff.