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‘Mulan’ Film Review (2020): How to Screw Up a Classic

“There’s no shame in being fearful before battle.”

Recently, Disney has been attempting to capitalize on some of its most successful animated films with live-action counterparts. Most lack the personality and quality of their initial debuts. Mulan (2020) is the worst live-action remake the big-eared mouse has ever produced, and I’m not sure how they managed to ruin a classic.

Overview

As her father is called to arms by the imperial army Hua Mulan (Liu Yifei) takes his place even though women are not allowed to be in the army. She must hide her identity until they can drive back the northern invaders.

Why Would You Do This?

There were rumors that Mulan might deviate from the original story before it was released. That first intrigued me, but when they removed some of the best elements from the original Mulan, my excitement rapidly turned to sadness.

Mushu, played by Eddie Murphy, is sorely missed in this picture, and instead of being replaced by another character, we are left with Mulan for the majority of it. The coupling of the two characters is what made the original picture so successful. Mulan’s personality consisted of trying to act like a guy… and that’s about it. Without her faithful guardian, she becomes a lot less interesting.

That’s Not Even the Worst Part

The fact that they wanted creative distinctions that only made the movie worse is my biggest criticism of the entire picture. Making a movie in the Mulan universe may have been interesting, but instead of doing something new, they stick to every significant plot detail from the first movie. I start to question the point of taking creative liberties at all.

The movie plays out as if someone skimmed the summary of the previous film and then constructed a new one while retaining the key narrative points and clumsily connecting the two.

From Mulan’s interactions with other important characters to her uninteresting demeanor, nothing in this two-hour movie is really compelling. Despite being longer than the original, this plot somehow lacks depth. It’s amazing how poorly this movie performed given its straightforward idea.

Conclusion

If you want to see a neutered version of the animated Disney classic go ahead and be my guest. However, if you go into this film expecting anything close to the original you will be disappointed.

This lifeless remake undergoes changes that diminish the overall quality of the film and had they just followed the original premise this movie could have just ended up better.

Mushu’s removal was a terrible error. The chemistry between our co-stars helped the animated movie a lot. Without the two of them, the film would not have had the same impact in its initial release.

To temper any expectations you have about this reboot any one of the original characters has more personality than every single individual in the reboot.

Perhaps the worst thing about Mulan (2020) is that you just don’t care. This movie will come and go without you thinking back on it. It simply exists as a worse version of the original and to top it all off is just a complete bore. I implore you not even to waste your time sitting down to watch this product. There have to be too many other things worth actually doing.

Verdict 4 out of 10 Stars

Now available on Disney Plus!

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