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The Lookout | May 13, 2021

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‘Mulan’ reboot has more serious theme

‘Mulan’ reboot has more serious theme
  • On September 8, 2020

Four out of Five Stars

By Julie Newell
Associate Editor

For the past decade, Disney has been on a mission to recreate its classic animated films into live-action films. The most recent of those remakes is the much-anticipated movie, “Mulan.”

Back in March, the theatrical release of “Mulan” was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Months later, Disney announced that it will be releasing “Mulan” exclusively on Disney Plus.

Set in a time of rural Imperial China, Mulan (played by Yifei Liu) struggles to find and understand her place in life. Her father, Hua Zhou, (played by Tzi Ma) recognizes that Mulan has the chi (life force or energy) of a warrior, but tells her that only men are warriors, and the way for her to bring honor to her family is by one day getting married.

As a young adult Mulan still struggles to fit in and be the kind of woman her parents expect her to be. After a disastrous meeting with the matchmaker, soldiers march into her village and announce that China has been invaded by Rouran warriors, and every family must volunteer one man to fight.

Having two daughters, Zhou volunteers for his family, despite his poor health.

Mulan, knowing her father will die if he goes to fight, decides to take his place. She takes his armor and sword and sets off to the training camp.

At the training camp, Mulan struggles to hide her true identity from her commanding officer, Commander Tung (played by Donnie Yen) and her fellow recruits.

The story continues and shows Mulan and her battalion fight against the Rouran leader, Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee), and his witch ally Xian Lang (Gong Li).

This telling of “Mulan” is focused more on the real legend of Mulan than the classic animated movie. While several elements of the two movies are similar, the majority of the movie has changed.

This movie is not a musical, the comic relief character of Mushu from the animated movie is not in this movie and it has a more serious tone to it.

“Mulan” has vibrant colors, action-packed fighting scenes and a few dashes of comedy.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the live-action “Mulan.” It is more of an adult movie than a kids’ movie, because of the serious theme of war.

To watch this movie, one has to see it as its own movie and not compare it to the animated version. Otherwise it will be very disappointing.

“Mulan” can now be streamed on Disney Plus with a $30 fee for the Premiere Access. It will be available to Disney Plus subscribers for free on Dec. 4.