I was so excited when I saw that Disney would be creating a live action movie on the story of Mulan. And when I saw the previews, the movie looked colorful and epic! There is just so much that could be done with the beauty of Chinese culture.
Mulan is the story of a Chinese girl trying to figure out where she fits in a society where girls bring honor through a good marriage match and being good wives. There is trouble in the land though, and men from all the families in China have been called to join the army and fight against an invading force. The problem is that Mulan has no brothers, and the only man left to fight in her family is her old, injured father. Mulan takes matters into her own hands, steals her father’s armor and impersonates a male soldier. She does well as a soldier, overcomes lots of obstacles and saves the day more than once.
I didn’t like the movie and was a let down, and this is why . . . .
SPOILER AHEAD . . . .
I remember the original Mulan, and I loved it! This Mulan, unfortunately didn’t cut it for me. I was so let down. There is no dragon ancestor, but a phoenix. There is no will power, but the power of Chi. Mulan isn’t discovered, but admits her gender. And what was worse, Mulan doesn’t overcome the enemy through the help of her comrades, but is helped by the enemy witch woman that wasn’t in the original at all.
The movie does have some great scenes, but they are momentary. The rest of the movie looks like a colorful but cheap drama set. The poor acting also doesn’t draw the spectator into their emotions. The war scene in the original cartoon was something that made me gasp at just how spectacular it looked. The war scene in this one was left wanting.
Maybe I am just a purist. My children didn’t like that there was no Mushu and the extra story line with the witch was confusing to them. Why is she even there?
Overall, the movie ran flat for us. It was $39.99 that we will never get back, but it still works out since we are a family of 8 and going to the movies for us costs us more than that. If I knew how bland the movie was going to be, I definitely would have waited for it to be free on the Disney+ app.
The movie is rated PG-13 for sequence of violence.