As of right now, the best live-action Disney remakes have been Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. I can gladly say that Mulan joins their ranks.
Let me be clear. Mulan is nothing special. Its storytelling follows the thread that the original has created but adds some much needed modern twists that I legitimately enjoyed; one such being the introduction of the witch, Xianniang, a nice secondary female addition to the plot that made the story just a little better.
Mulan’s love interest, Honghui, played by Yoson An, is appropriately handsome and charming. In fact, he’s much more likable than the cartoon version. I liked the idea of him being a fellow soldier instead of her commanding officer. Speaking of commanding officers; Donnie Yen, Ip Man, Chirrut Imwe, or Commander Tung, whatever name you call him by he’s awesome and I loved that he was in this film.
Oh, I wish I could say this movie was perfect. Unfortunately, like most of these remakes, it failed to get through its menial one hour and fifty-five minute runtime without hitting some speed bumps.
One such speed bump actually happened to be the film’s climactic battle which felt much tenser and more climactic in the animated version than this version. I was so underwhelmed by Mulan’s final confrontation with Bori Khan, which had its cheer-worthy moments, but lacked anything of true awesomeness.
Niki Caro’s directing isn’t as vibrant or captivating as I would’ve liked. She was able to get a few beautiful shots and helped convey emotion through the lens, building up tension and plenty of suspense, but there was a lack of comprehension for directing action scenes. Mulan should’ve felt more powerful as this unbelievably graceful yet outstanding warrior. Instead, her power was downplayed by slow motion very similar to Wonder Woman’s action scenes.
And Yifei Liu was a great Mulan but…she’s not that great of an actress. There were some scenes where I could feel her acting and that’s never comfortable.
All in all, I’m giving the movie 95 out of 100 and 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was nearly perfect but there were some nitpicky moments that dropped the score for me. But it is a must-watch and a great reimagining for this generation’s youth.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.