Red Cliff is a vast, sprawling, hugely entertaining Chinese war epic with a cast of thousands. It is nominally set in Imperial China in about 300AD. As well as chocker with action, it was surprisingly and frequently funny. The humour arises sometimes from the dialogue, but more often from the howlingly improbable action sequences. These are carried out with such panache that you are happy to just laugh and hang on for the ride.
I found the almost incessant fight sequences very hard to follow, especially at first, and I had to give up trying to figure out who were the goodies and who were the baddies and who was winning and just sit back and watch the arrows and spears fly.
As entertaining as the movie is, I found the cinematography appalling. The colour palette was very odd, it used a very limited depth of field (meaning that the amazing Chinese scenery was mostly reduced to fuzzy blobs), and the long CGI shots of vast armies and navies seemed deliberately blurred. I guess they were trying to give a sense of scale, but what it actually did was give a sense that they didn’t know how to use cameras.
But this didn’t matter much: for two and a bit hours of daft fun this movie can’t be beat.