Posted on: October 1, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Oh boy, Disney has done it again by giving their audiences yet another rehash of the same stories they have told years ago. Originally, “Mulan” was going to be released in theaters in March before the pandemic; then they made the decision to place the movie on Disney + and charge an additional  $30 for viewing. While I watched the movie, it is easy to see why they decided to make this decision. 

Andrew Pahl

Movie Reviewer

“Mulan” (2020) was directed by Niki Caro and stars Liu Yifei as Mulan. The film tells the story of a young woman who takes the place of her father and pretends to be a man when going to war against the Huns.  As mentioned above, this is the retelling of the animated movie Disney created in 1998 and it goes to show that Disney is more concerned with making nostalgia money over creating new timeless content. Although you might be able to retell this story in a more realistic fashion without the music and talking dragons and such, more so than “Aladdin” (2019), that also means you need to compensate for the lacking elements. 

Obviously the plots are the same, but let’s start off with this: this film is seriously lacking depth with its characters. It’s amazing the choices they make to develop these people. Rather than being a normal girl that is training long and hard to show she can hang with the other soldiers, Mulan is basically a superhero. She has “chi” and all we do as the film plays along is just say in our minds that we know you can do it just do it, in a bad way. Not a compelling pick-yourself-up-and-keep-fighting scenario. It’s more like a talented football player not trying to play and you’re sitting at the game saying he can do better he just won’t.

I also don’t want to harp on this point too much, but Yifei is as bland as this character. I can’t tell if it’s because of direction or not, but she does not bring much to the character. The side characters are also nothing to write home about. Just generic and boring. And this is important, because if you’re going for realism and not playing music that can be another form of expression in the story, you have to write better dialogue and engage the audience. And the attempt at comedy is subpar at best. Children might giggle, but as an adult it fell flat.

One may be able to excuse the problems with character as long as the other aspects of a movie are interesting and compelling. Just take a look at “Tenet.” That movie didn’t have very deep character work, but everything else around it was what keeps you watching. The action in “Mulan” is mediocre at best. The slow motion whipping back to full speed with close-ups and quick cuts just make for bad action. Not to mention that the wirework with the characters running up and down walls is just hilarious. 

This movie as a whole is just another example of why Disney needs to peel off the remakes of the older movies. Almost every single one is met with disappointment. Near shot-for-shot remakes of stories we know does not make for a good product. I found “Lion King” (2019) almost offensive as to how bad it was; “Mulan” (2020) is as close to that analysis, if not worse. I’m going to give “Mulan” (2020) 1.5 out of 5 stars. Please do not waste your money on this. Wait until the movie is available on Disney + without the extra charge in December.