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MULAN 2020 REVIEW | A SUPERHERO FILM THAT GETS CRUSHED BY ITS OWN WEIGHT

 

MOVIE REVIEW

 

ALL THAT GLITTERS

By KARTHIK - September 6, 2020

 

 

 

 

MULAN REVIEW

MULAN live action movie Review

The long-awaited Disney live-action movie MULAN is the remake of the classic Disney animation of the same name. The movie is based on 6th-century Chinese folklore named “The Ballad of Mulan,” it is a heroic tale of Hua Mulan who disguises herself as a man to join the battle in place of her ailing father. This historic tale has adapted in various forms of novels, poems, and even movies throughout china.



MULAN 1998

Director: Barry Cook

Cast:     Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong, Miguel Ferrer, and June Foray 

 

Mulan 1998 is the classic Disney animated action musical tale that takes place in ancient china where an imminent invasion of the Han dynasty. Mulan decides to join the battle disguised as a man to save her ailing father from joining the battle when the king orders men from every family to fight for their kingdom.

The movie was both a critical and commercial success and considered by many the best 90s Disney animated movie. With a unique female-centric storyline, characters, and animation style the movie was a grand, artful, and impressive adaptation that is made for both children and adults.

With comedic relief from Eddie Murphy, amazing songs, and classic Disney animation portraying battle sequences are considered a few of the reasons for the success of the film. 

 

 

 

MULAN 2020

Director: Niki Caro

Cast:    Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Yoson An, Gong Li, and Jason Scott Lee

 

Mulan 2020 is the live-action remake of the 1998 classic with the same name. This live adaptation is different from the other recent Disney projects like THE LION KING, which was a shot for shot adaptation of the animated classic where the movie can be summed up an upgrade for modern audiences who haven’t seen the original.

The movie packs an impressive line of actors for this movie where each of them does justice to their characters. The stand out of the movie was Jet li as the Emperor and Liu Yifei as Mulan. The movie has enough comic relief even though there is no Eddie murphy or a talking dragon.

Mulan is different in every way when compared with the original and the only similarity is the basic storyline. This Disney Plus exclusive film is trying to take a fan-favorite classic and polishing it for modern audiences.

However, this is a brave effort from Disney as they decided to change the formulaic adaptation method of their originals and trying to bring something relevant and acceptable for modern audiences. 

It is hard to say but the movie is one of the worst live-action adaptations from Disney.  The movie is less exciting and doesn’t capture the essence of the legend of Mulan. Before the release fans were excited to see the live-action remake even though many fan-favorite characters from the original were reportedly omitted. With that many had assumed the movie would be a realistic take on the Legend of Mulan and was welcomed by many.

 

 

STORY

The movie starts with a young Mulan running through her village disturbing the locals due to an overabundance of CHI, a power the only man in the family can possess. Later on, her family arranges her to meet with the matchmaker for her marriage as it is considered the only way a woman can bring honor to the family name. However, Mulan creates a mess of the situation and the village is later on received with the news of a Rouran Warring tribe on the way to invade the kingdom. With the orders from the king, Mulan’s father a war hero is forced to fight against the invading army. Mulan decides to take her ailing father’s place in the war to save him from going back to a battlefield in poor health which could result in injury or worse.

 

 

REVIEW

With a powerful source and inspirational source story, the movie decides to let go of the themes of its animated predecessor that was loved by the fans. The Disney animated MULAN was not well received in China as the movie was deemed playful and Americanised. Here the makers have decided to make something that pleases both the American and Chinese audiences and in turn, fails.

The movie explores the idea of revealing one’s true self even if the world is not ready for it, which might look good on paper but the movie doesn’t do justice to this theme. Here MULAN is forced to conceal her CHI that is only available for the men in the family. The main problem is that the power is handed over to her and not something anyone can develop on their own.

Whereas in the original MULAN, she had to work hard and fight for her place among the ranks, and through sheer will and determination becomes better than her Captain. Here she is just a recipient of the mysterious power of CHI, something that is handed over not earned. Thus, making the audience question if you do not get the superpower you are just worthless and any amount of training is no good against the powerful enemies.

The action sequences are inspired by the classic Chinese action style of wire works where the character can be seen flying and walking on walls during fight sequences. The action sequences are wonky and seem highly edited disturbing the flow, where MULAN can be seen fighting the enemies in one shot and then immediately reaching a higher ground without any explanation.

Another problem is the Antagonist Xian Lang played by Gong Li, a shapeshifting witch with superpowers who seems more of a Disney Villain than a realistic take one. The movie is a mixture of reality and fantasy where the creators got the combination wrong. This is an inferior product when compared with the 1998 classic.

The movie is not all bad, it is more of a superhero film rather than an adaptation of the folklore or the classic Disney Animated movie. With the onset of the ME-TOO movement, the movie shed its popular character Captain Li Shang, as MULAN flirts with her captain. In the modern take, she flirts with the fighter in her rank and their competitive interactions are the more entertaining and fun parts in the movie.    

The movie is a good watch for children and those who haven’t seen the origination animated movie. With more live-action movies on the way, hopefully, we could expect a better product from Disney that takes a deeper look at their products.

 

RATING 6.7/10

 

 

 

MULAN 2020 REVIEW | A SUPERHERO FILM THAT GETS CRUSHED BY ITS OWN WEIGHT MULAN 2020 REVIEW | A SUPERHERO FILM THAT GETS CRUSHED BY ITS OWN WEIGHT Reviewed by KARTHIK on September 06, 2020 Rating: 5

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