It was the highly anticipated Disney live action remake everyone was so eager to get their eyes on. Unfortunately, COVID-19 kept pushing the release date, until Disney finally decided to pop it onto trusty Disney+ for a few dollaradoos. That was until it would be put up for free in December. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, considering the shocking year 2020 was, and the standard of this film, I’m so glad I didn’t pay to watch it. If you did, my condolence to your wallet. It lost money for nothing.
For those living under a rock, Mulan is based on an ancient poem, and takes place during the era of Imperial China, where the men of each family are called upon to fight in battle. Zhou (Tzi Ma), Mulan’s father is far too old and frail to go into battle, so overnight, Mulan (Yifei Liu) makes the decision to steal his armour, and volunteers herself to fight, deceiving everyone by dressing and trying to act like a man.
A lot of people had issue with this film way before it was even watched. No Mushu. No singing. And the rest of it. Though none of that mattered for me, I’m sure you sense my disappointment in this version of Mulan. The word I’m probably going to use a lot here is, cringe. Mulan is one huge cringe-fest. From the first battle scene and how it is fought, to the way the witch dies in Mulan’s arms, I found myself giggling and throwing my head into my palm in pure embarrassment. I think the acting has a big role to play in this cringe-fest. It’s an embarrassing to the inspiring story they have completely ruined.
There were definitely plenty of bits to make up a good movie. They just fell too short beside the bits that break this film apart. I think if you’re into Eastern Asian cinema and you enjoy that type of format, I may have offended you by my review, but I think you might enjoy it. I, for one, am just not used to that style, and I am not crazy about it. I also need to remind people; this is not a live action remake of the animated version we all loved. This is a film in the order the original ancient story was told. They definitely tried to bring in the humour from the animated version, such as the inclusion of the funny sidekicks. And as a fan of the animated version, I appreciate the effort to place a hint of the songs we love in the related positions of the film, in orchestral form with no vocal.
Hey, I didn’t use ‘cringe’ as much as I thought I would. Yay! Well, Mulan was cringe-y, okay?! Watch it for the pure curiosity of how cringe-y it is. There. I hit my ‘cringe’ quota.
They should have just used the layout of the animated version. I’m sure it would have been a better success. But, shoulda, coulda, woulda, didn’t. Let’s hope the version we really want will happen.