Mulan (2020) Review

Subscribers of Disney+ and even the most casual of Disney fans will no doubt know that the Mulan live-action remake has finally premiered onto the streaming service, six months after it was originally meant to open in cinemas. The film has come under fire by fans and critics alike because of its long production and release period, hindering how well the film has been received both financially and critically. With the £20 fee that is required for subscribers to view the film with the new ‘Premier Access’ feature, fans have been left disappointed. But is the film worth the price tag? Or is it just another shameless cash grab remake of a beloved story?

The removal of certain elements from the original Mulan movie do not hinder the experience of Mulan’s story, but in their removal, we are welcomed with shallow replacements that offer similar themes and controversies. Additionally, the lack of diversity in the production team must be noted as the promise that this film will feel more eastern than western isn’t fully realised in the film as much of the behind-the-scenes talent are White creatives.

Still interested in endeavouring with your wish to watch the film? Do so with an adaptable mindset as director Niki Caro has separated this story from its predecessor by manipulating how Mulan is successful at being a man. However, the introduction of Gong Li’s Xianniang is a welcome one as she allows a different perspective on the gender arguments throughout and is a refreshing anti-hero.

Without the familiar rhythm of certain story beats like the iconic ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ song, this remake struggles to seem worthy of an extra expenditure when it’s more enjoyable predecessor is free to the Disney+ subscriber.


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Patrick Coe

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June 2022
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