There are moments of exuberant bombast which verge on the ridiculous – a stirring speech by Cao Cao seemingly curing typhoid for one – but fans of John Woo will find many of his usual signature themes and devices in attendance. An abundance of white doves throughout, borderline homoerotic declarations of loyalty, brotherhood and mutual admiration (Takeshi and Tony even get to reprise their guzheng duet) and a climactic five-way standoff that would make Tarantino go weak at the knees.
Zhang Fengyi makes Cao Cao a complex and charismatic villain, more than simply a power-hungry politician whose motives can be easily swept aside. Takeshi Kaneshiro is in his element, wrapping his silken tongue around Zhuge’s poetic musings and meditations, and Tony Leung is dependable as ever as the unflappable Zhou Yu. The real revelation in part two is Lin Chi-Ling, who easily eschews those early fears that she may not be robust enough to carry the part of Xiao Qiao – the trophy wife with a lot more gumption than her mantra of “make tea not war” conveys.
Sadly, Chang Chen is again criminally underused, arguably given even less to do this time round than in part one, but the film’s biggest crime is the sidelining of Hu Jun as Zhao Yun. Admittedly his character is “injured” for much of this second half, but the image of him in battle, baby wrapped tightly to his back in a wonderful homage to Hard Boiled, remains one of Red Cliff’s enduring images. He manages to briefly claw his way on screen during the big finale but it was shame after his iconic role in the preceding film.Extracto de la crítica de Twitch