Just when I thought I was going to make it through a whole year without any Live action tarnishing of my favourite animated movies, Disney announced their new remake, Mulan, was coming to Disney+, but at a price. Even though I’m quite fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to return to the cinema, Disney still insisted that I needed to watch this at home on their paid service for an additional $35 fee. God, out of all the stupid crap they have pulled in the last few years this might just be their most desperate stunt to scrounge up some quick cash.
I guess the good news is as long as you have Disney+ and pay the toll you can watch the new remake of Mulan from the comfort and safety of your own home. Or the other option is just wait until December 4th when the movie will be free with all the other programming on it. Don’t fret on the options dear reader I have chosen to bite the bullet for all of us to see if this movie lives up to it’s hefty price tag.
If you’re familiar with the animated movie then where the movie’s plot goes should do nothing to surprise you, but there are key differences in the details. The biggest difference is that Mushu is entirely absent from the movie. Side characters like Shan Yu and Captain Shang from the ’98 Mulan are replaced with different characters who play the almost exact same role, except for Mulan’s dad and The Emperor. The Musical numbers are also omitted from this version, which I am a bit mixed on, but we’ll bounce back to that.
Other key differences would be that this film wants you to take it a lot more seriously than the animated movie which was more of a fun adventure comedy. The character of Mulan is very different as she’s already born with enough potential to be an awesome warrior while in the animated movie she basically winged it and needed to work her way up. There are plenty more, but I don’t want to bore you so the big question remains do these differences improve on the original Mulan movie?
It makes it worse of course!
Sure, getting rid of Mushu and the cricket was a good idea and Mulan no longer having an out of nowhere romance with the army general was a great decision. Still no matter what changes they do make always results in a film so inferior that it’s not even funny.
To give Mulan some credit this is definitely an improvement over the dumpster fire of last year’s live action remakes. Some of the acting was half decent, the sets are highly improved and the bloodless battle scenes were quite entertaining, but yet it fails on other fronts.
The decision to make Mulan a parkour kung-fu fighting machine from the get-go is the most terrible creative decision I have seen in a long while. As I said earlier, the other Mulan had no clue how to fight and that’s what made us want to root for her and why she was quite inspiring. I can’t say the same with this one who is close to perfect. Her dilemma while training is how to hide her badass true potential from her sucky male war pals. She also learns that lying about being a man is disgracing her family name, even though the whole reason she did that was so her crippled father didn’t have to go to war. Why are these changes necessary?!?
Besides that I failed to get into this movie because it was trying to be so serious. Mulan is already a parkour butt kicking master, but at Chinese military academy the army generals are also teaching the soldiers to be kung-fu masters to fight against villains that run up walls and do ninja moves. I’m sorry, it’s too silly for me, I was honestly chuckling a few times when the witch lady threw her drapes at the faceless guards or the countless times someone caught an arrow heading towards their face or when Mulan kicked a flying sword right back at the enemy as if she was an Amazonian warrior. It’s as stupid as believing that every single man in this unit thinks skinny little girl faced Mulan is a fully grown man. It worked in the animated movie because they played Mulan’s man persona for laughs, but I can never see myself actually taking this concept as seriously as this movie wants me to.
To wrap this bird up, while the effort to make a better movie that may come close to the quality of what came before is noted, the overall result still equates to the exact same soulless husk of a movie that’s only purpose is to look fancy and change it up a little bit to hide the true intent of capitalizing on the older movies that you love. After finishing the movie I wished they had included the old songs as it would have made this movie a bit more lively and less boring, but then again I was relived that I didn’t need to hear actors who can’t sing butchering these again.
In conclusion, don’t buy the $35 premier access thing. Wait until Christmas when it will be free for you to see what all the fuss is about or wait until you can get a super cheap price on it as it’s not complete garbage. That’s my little rant on Mulan and Disney. Thanks for reading this review and goodbye!