Mulan (2020) – Film Review

Setting aside all of the controversies of this film — I did enjoy this version of the ‘Mulan’ story. I do understand to those who are sensitive to the fact Disney did thank a company that is associated with the concentration camps. This should be pointed out so that this does not happen and Disney apologizes. Liu Yifei, I felt did a good job with being Mulan. I didn’t feel she had the same transformation to turn into a man as a disguise but it worked well enough. I do understand to those who don’t like her because of her comments — but my feeling is that she was forced to say those things from the Chinese government.

I do appreciate the tone of the film they were going for in making it a War epic than a cheeky musical. The Chinese audiences were not pleased with the animated film with Mushu, Shang-Li, and the songs. I can respect for going for something more grounded and realistic. The phoenix was a simpler way to represent her ancestry and the musical orchestral notes of the songs were a good touch. The action sequences needed to be a bit more involved. I did like that they gave Mulan something more to her to make her special. Though some might think that robs her of her character relatability/value, I thought that just showed that Women could be as equal with power.

When they find out who you are, they will show you no mercy.

I am a bit disappointed I didn’t get to see this film on the big screen. There are so many visuals that would have been amazing to see on the big screen. I understand the situation that we are on that families are not going to feel safe being in theater in our current situation. I hope that it may be on the big screen later on if possible to really showcase those visuals. Though the film does hit a bit of the same beats as the animated version — I do feel that the ending here is stronger and less rushed compared to the animated feature.

With Disney remaking all of there animated films to live-action, I would hope the lessons that they’ve learned here besides the obvious is to not be afraid to do things differently to tell the same story. Being lazy has rewarded them tenfold with “The Lion King (2019)” which had too many similarities to the animated one. Commit to a vision and execute, be bold, and different. My final note about the film is that if it is worth the $30 dollar price tag until early December. That’s a complex question. I would have liked to say “Yes, of course!” because I would like more female-led directed and acted films to be supported, but given all the controversy this film has endured I would say make that decision up to you if you so wish to.


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