Movie Plot – A young woman disguises herself as a male warrior to join the imperial army.
Director: Niki Caro
Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek
Cast: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong
Another Disney Remake
Disney makes it his job to make a live-action movie out of all the classic animated movies. Now it’s Mulan’s turn, the legendary female warrior who disguises herself as a man.
This time it was going to be different. There was no singing, and it was not a copy-paste of the animated film. It was even going to be darker, one of the darkest Disney remakes.
Here I was hoping for a more realistic take on the story. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case at all. Sure, it wasn’t like the other Disney movies as ut was indeed darker. However, they included something called “chi.” Basically, someone with a good chi means they have excellent fighting skills and can jump very high for some kind of reason. Also, there were magical powers and being.
That’s the feeling that befalls me, especially after seeing Mulan: meh. There’s a lot of potentials in this type of film that is situated in China. And there are beautiful environments and shots. You don’t hear me complain about the fantastical scenery.
What the film misses, most of all, is having a soul. The film rages through the whole plot, and there is hardly any depth. Convenience seems to dominate, but especially the feeling that entire scenes are missing. This is painfully visible when Mulan is suddenly high up on the mountain behind the attacking party from one moment to the next, while she was still on lower grounds, a scene ago.
Mulan is also befriended with a lot of uninteresting characters, which is a pity. The characters are potentially fun, but because of the hurried nature of the film, this is never well expressed. And okay, this is a nitpick, but I rather had seen this film in Chinese with subtitles. However, I’ll let that slide as I understand the decision to make it in English.
The biggest letdown was that Mulan was already gifted/skilled from the beginning. The movie tries to send out a message but was executed in the wrong way. I believe it’s the movie’s intend to embrace yourself. Of course, it’s a good thing that you have to stand up for yourself and never deny who you are. But the impact of this is completely wasted because Mulan, herself is not developing. The animated movie handled this much better. Just watch the scene down below from the classic Mulan movie.
Immediately, I see a difference. Here she’s fighting to become better and the entire three minutes are thrilling to see. You feel yourself rooting for her, and sends out a more powerful message than this new movie did in two hours.
No Mushu, but we do get a witch?
The villain in the animated Mulan wasn’t very interesting, and unfortunately, his successor in flesh and blood isn’t either. So no big relapse, but that still makes for a rather uninteresting opponent. Luckily, he can fight quite well, so that gives him a few decent moments.
However, that’s not the only villain in the film. You also had a witch who could turn herself in birds. Some conflicts between her and Mulan were “life-changing” for Mulan. But I didn’t buy it either. It’s like she was in the film to shape Mulan. And, I want Mulan to shape herself.
There is also no Mushu in this film. And he probably would have made the movie better with some warmth and humor. But no, instead we get a pretty boring movie. A Pheonix also replaces Mushu. So you have a movie where you see a Pheonix every now and then, and you have a witch with powers. But a little dragon was a no go.
Mulan turns out to be a boring film without a soul. Save your time and just go see the animated movie that is shorter. And it also knows how to deliver a powerful well-written female character.