Mulan 2020: Magic & Hair

Mulan

Directed By: Niki Caro

Apparently her real power is the hair.

I mean not only did she never cut it but bouncing around in battle doing all these amazing things and it never gets in her face to allow her enemies to get the better of her. There was actually a moment in a fight scene where all I could think was, “Just grab her hair!” It’s a real testament to not being able to wash it in case the army realizes you aren’t actually a guy.

So Mulan was one of my most anticipated films of 2020 and how crazy is it that I’m actually slightly grateful to Disney for letting me pay an extra $30 on top of my subscription to watch it?

Says a lot about this year.

I think everyone knows the story of Mulan at this point- the girl who takes her father’s place in the Army at great risk to herself and her honor.

I appreciated that this wasn’t a complete remake of the animated film and it was entertaining but I had some big issues I wasn’t expecting.

Mulan

Why did they lean so hard on the “chi” thing? Why did they have to go so far in making her special from the beginning? I’m not familiar with the original story but I thought the point was she was a normal girl who did something important and extraordinary.

Not that she was Rey. And it wasn’t just oh, she has chi that she has to hide and it’s a metaphor… she was magic.

I do think Liu Yifei did a really good job with the role no matter what she was playing. Her family was excellent especially her father you really felt those scenes. Both his love for her and the knowledge that he has to tap her down so she can fit in.

Honestly I thought the costumes were beautiful throughout. The cinematography. The score all were mostly 100%.

But Jason Lee’s villain doesn’t have much going for him other than killing the fight scenes. The guys in camp are fine. They didn’t have much personality but provided some nice moments and honest opinion I felt the same way about the guys in the animated movie. Although I think her unmasking plays out way too quickly and there’s no real tension from them on that account.

Unpopular opinion: I’m thrilled there’s no Mushu!

Points to the movie and anyone who complains about it can no longer complain about the cookie cutter Disney remakes 🙂

But to me the most interesting character was the witch Xianniang played by Li Gong.

Although I couldn’t help but laugh when she tells Mulan they would never accept her (maybe you many want to scale back the look there sweetie!) The chi stuff connects her to Mulan but the movie never really does anything with it which is unfortunate.

I actually think a lot of the gender issues are danced upon here in her working with the Jason Lee character but again it stays really surface.

But she looks cool.

So yeah Mulan was a fun entertaining film. Disney tried to do something different than remake the animated movie which was nice but they didn’t go beyond that. Honestly it felt a bit like a Marvel origin story.

Recommend: Yes. It’s got a lot going for it but…

I don’t think there’s any race to see this one. Apparently it will be available on Disney+ normally sometime in December so if you’re on the fence or think the price is too high it’s fine to wait.