Mulan (2020) (2020)
December 17, 2020 5:54 AM - Subscribe

When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father.

She is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. Disguised as a man by the name of Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her innermost strength and embrace her true potential.

73% - Rotten Tomatoes | 5.6/10 - IMDb | 66% - Metacritic

Steve Pond, The Wrap: "if you strip away the things that make this such an unusual release in such an unusual year, you’ll find a pretty good movie and one that approaches this story with heart and with fresh eyes."

Streaming (now for free) on Disney+
posted by jazon (1 comment total)
This movie was such a mess. It's like Disney said "let's cast a bunch of Chinese people" but then didn't consult any of them about the ridiculous changes to the story. The change from a story of filial piety and self-sacrifice to a "be true to yourself" "chosen-one" individualist message was unavoidable, but most of the other changes were just unneccessary. Ch'i isn't some kind of orientalist version of the force from Star Wars. Why introduce magic to the story, anyway? Couldn't Mulan be strong and capable just as a normal human woman? If you are going to have magic, Gong Li would be an awesome witch -- if her character's motivations made any sense whatsoever. Personally, the waste of her talent (and Jet Li's) was the most offensive part of the movie.

Also, pedantic notes: Tulou (round houses) look cool, but are anachronistic, being built centuries after and a thousand miles away from the Northern Wei Dynasty. Chinese phoenixes don't burn and rise from the ashes.
posted by bradf at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

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