YOU BEST BELIEVE I PAID TO WATCH THIS MOVIE. As an Asian-American girl who cut her hair in the 3rd grade so I could look just like “Fa Mulan”, I have been anxious and giddy about this movie coming out. Not only was I excited for the main character to actually be Chinese (unlike so many films where the “Chinese” main character is actually mixed), but I was also excited that the storyline would reflect more of the legend of Mulan rather than the Disney animated film. Also, who doesn’t love a little martial arts combined with magic?
Now, per usual, I had a few issues with this film because I am judgmental and hard to please. However, overall I will say that this movie was great and I sincerely appreciated the moral lessons of courage, strength, and truth! Plus, who isn’t a sucker for a Father-Daughter-Duty-Honor-Love plot line?!
Minor Issues I had with this film:
- Everyone had a different accent. Now I get that China is a big country. I’ve seen a map. However, Hollywood, you couldn’t just make it easy on the ears and just tell all the actors to sound the same? Y’all know actors have to master linguistic courses, so everyone should be able to match accents. Or at least have similar accents within one family! Mulan and her father spoke so differently it was like she was from Boston and he was from Alabama. I’m not convinced you live together.
- I’m just not sure if we needed THAT much screen time of the bad guy, Bori Khan. In Disney films, if the bad guy is clearly bad – aka he wears all black, has scars on his face, rides a black horse, and is mean to everyone, you don’t really need to go out of your way to give him a back story. WE GET IT. I wanted more time with the cool witch lady.
- Near the end of the film, after Mulan confesses to being a woman, the General welcomed her back WAYYYYY too quickly! He banishes her from his troop, she comes back with news that the emperor is in danger, and then he PUTS HER IN CHARGE?!? I’m not buyin’ it. He threatened to EXECUTE her if she came back. EXECUTE. Like KILL HER. But she comes back with some hot goss and now she’s THE LEADER? Plot hole, Hollywood. No me gusta.
Reasons I loved this film:
- Mulan is LEGIT. I love how they added the Qi aspect to her – not only is that incredibly culturally sound, but it also adds that magical aspect that I love about both Disney and legends in general. Thought this touch was brilliant.
- I am a major fan of the female empowerment in this film! Not only is it cool to be a female warrior in this film, but they’re better than all the other warriors, which is basically exactly how I predict I would be in a combat situation as well. Though no one test my theory, please.
- The sort of love story happening between Mulan and her soldier friend was cute, but I am so grateful that they didn’t kiss at the end! What a great, realistic, and non-cringey way to end the film. The awkward handshake was just perfect enough to leave you wanting more and yet also so happy that nothing more actually happened. Bless.
- The soundtrack is BRILLIANT. Using the themes of all the original Disney Mulan songs in an instrumental version is literally genius.
- Jet Li is the emperor. Well done.
Popcorn Rating: 4 popped corns
In conclusion, this was a super solid live action remastering of the original Mulan movie. As distracting as the myriad of accents were from the cast, the storyline, moral lessons, and straight up female bad-ass-ness was superb. Highly recommend even if you haven’t seen the original Disney film, though that also makes you a Philistine, so be better.