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Mulan (2020)

Mulan (2020)


Liu Yifei
Donnie Yen
Jason Scott Lee
Jet Li

Directed by Niki Caro

Disney’s Mulan live-action has action scenes that will have you in awe, the cinematography is out of this world and the fight sequences are magnificent. Yes, I missed Mushu. And the screenplay is not up to that of the 1998 Disney animation to which it was based, but this is a very nerve wracking movie made beautifully.
What Disney did here was to replace all the Mushu moments with drama, the movie has enough drama to last you the viewer all September. The director Niki Caro did her best is the way she shaped this movie to make the lack of Mushu not to be so pronounced.
I enjoyed how they made her smart and allowed her to survive an attack from a rival because she was a woman. That turning point in the movie starts an hour in when she embraced herself for who she is, from then forth the movie changed gear. They stepped up the engagement that I totally forgot myself for a moment and was moving with her like it was me fighting.

If you have seen the Disney animation Mulan, you know already what will happen. Instead of a Mushu guiding her, we have a phantom phoenix doing the job.

The plot starts with us meeting a young Mulan able to do amazing things because of her connection with her chi (yeah, the movie is about some going against gravity effects). She is seen as someone who will bring disgrace to her family and needs to be married out. Mulan we discover is a good fighter and graceful with acrobatics.

The Rourans are attacking China and aiming for the Emperor. He made a decree for every family to volunteer one man for this war. Mulan stole her father’s armour and sword to claim his place. Her father was already a war hero, but he is old and has a bad leg. He had taken up the call to go fight but Mulan seeing her frail father, disguised as a man and took his place.
There she trained to be a warrior and has to deal with the challenges her lie has brought. All this while the army she is in is facing the Rourans. How the truth got out and how it was managed as the life of the Emperor was at risk is the who nerve wracking moments this movie packs.

In the end, this will be my fourth favorite Disney Live action after Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016) and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

When it comes to casting, the movie does not go all out seeking A-list actors to make its point, even the casting of Donnie Yen and Jet Li were in supporting roles to the leading lady, Liu Yifei.
Her later actions in support of China over Hong Kong has led many to ask for this film to be boycotted, but I say this is a fantastic movie so see it regardless.

Mulan’s release has been pushed back numerous times because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney deciding to release it this way as a Video-On-Demand on their streaming platform Disney+ I guess was a financial risk needed. It is left to see if this movie breaks even, with it being reported that Disney will need up to ten million paid views for this to happen.

Based on how much I enjoyed this film, I can but wish them all the best. Mulan is a good to see even with the young ones. Rated PG-13.


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