Review: Mulan (2020)
To save her ailing father from serving in the Imperial Army, a fearless young woman disguises herself as a man to battle northern invaders in China.
Disney is all about making live-action remakes of their cherished animated classics these days. Today's victim is 1998's Mulan... In an effort to make things more realistic, they chose to remove musical numbers and magical characters like Mushu the Dragon and Cri-Kee the lucky cricket from the remake. And even though the 1998 film wasn't very faithful to the Chinese fable it was still endearing and memorable because Mulan was a ordinary girl who showed courage and strength to stand up for what she believed in under extraordinary circumstances. The live-action remake instead made Mulan a "special" girl with magical powers powered by "Qi." If you have any familiarity with Chinese culture this decision to misappropriate Qi is utterly bizarre. It also doesn't make the film more realistic either. What it does manage to do is insult Chinese culture and make Mulan's journey and accomplishments much less meaningful. No longer is she overcoming the odds in a male dominated society, instead she's just a powerful witch trying to unlock her powers.
Despite these problems, there are some good action and fighting scenes. The costumes and visuals are also beautiful. As a martial arts film, its was also somewhat entertaining. However, Mulan as a whole has very little meaningful dialogue and none of the characters are very memorable so the end result is a pretty flat experience. It is missing the magic and heart of the original. I wouldn't recommend it.
Swin: 3/10 - Looks pretty but extremely lacking otherwise.
Directed by: Niki Caro
Starring: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Ron Yuan, Gong Li, Jet Li
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence
Runtime: 115 min