In an unexpected turn of events due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disney+ decided to shift the release of their $200M budgeted live-action Mulan remake to an OTT release. The film has now been released on a pay-per-view basis and will be available on the platform for inclusive streaming from the 10th of December.
What’s the story about?
The evil clan of the Huns bring trouble to China in various ways, with the emperor deciding to have one man from every family come forward and fight in the army. Hua Mulan takes the place of her father who is suffering from health issues and disguises herself as a man named Hua Jun. As the situation heats up, her real face comes to the fore. The rest of the film is all about how Mulan warms up as a woman soldier and finds a spot for herself in the battalion that is otherwise packed with men alone.
Disney’s live-action remakes have always blown hot and cold, so when there was the news about Mulan being brought to the big screen with real actors, it did bring up a certain level of excitement. However, fifteen minutes into the film is all you need to realize that it is treading a clichéd path with every next move being predictable. It is probably Disney’s decision to keep everything simple and accessible to even the youngest kid in the house, which is why the film takes the tried-and-tested path even in scenes where there is space to do something different. However, what keeps Mulan going is the extraordinary visual range that the film has in hand, along with the exciting action sequences and the grand scale of the film. The second hour of the film is more enjoyable than the first, with all the action and the final closure working right. And isn’t that enough for a film you’re watching at home?
Liu Yifei as Hua Mulan gets a punchy role to play, but there’s nothing special about her performance which is one-toned and lacks the charisma for such a celebrated character. Yoson An as Chen Honghui has a nice outing, but the film’s biggest comfort factors come in the form of how we get to see the veterans such as Donnie Yen and Jet Li in important roles.
Music and other departments
Mulan is obviously boosted by the sheer brilliance in its technical departments, such as the cinematography, Harry Gregson-Williams’ superb score and the production design which translates the money onscreen. No complaints here.
The solid action sequences shot with a lot of style are the biggest talking points of Mulan.
The story is not so relatable and relishable as the animated version which we enjoyed years ago.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes. Not great stuff but good time-pass indeed.
Do I recommend it?
Yes. Mulan is not a film that you will repent for watching. If you can get the whole family together for this, you will have a great time!