Mulan is a woman striving to bring honour to her family while being true to herself.
Mulan is gifted with a strong Chi. In this film Chi seems to enable individuals to do all sorts of incredible things including feats of strength, agility, possession, and transformation and is connected to being a warrior. But it is culturally unacceptable for girls and women to use chi or become warriors. So Mulan doesn’t fit in her place.
The very small village looks wonderful like the rest of the sets throughout the movie. The costumes are excellent and seems appropriate to someone that doesn’t know much about period clothing, like me.
When China is under attack Mulan disguises herself as a man and takes her aging Father’s place in the army. Hijinks ensue. Nope. In fact the small amount of humour in this film falls flat. There are lots of opportunities for jokes, but the filmmakers declined to take them opting to make this a fairly serious movie with few distractions from the mood. For me this is a serious detriment to the overall feeling. I think they could have made more subtle jokes without hurting the overall tone of the film. In Lord of the Rings, other serious films, there are lots of humorous bits mixed in to the serious and tense moments that, for me don't detract from the mood. I think Mulan could have made better use of their opportunities for humour.
Character continuity is a real problem here. In the intro we see a young, playful, and mischievous Mulan trying to catch a chicken. If you don’t like this character, don’t worry, you’ll never see Mulan like this again. This is far from the most egregious instance of character flaws. The worst soured the climax for me when a character seems to forget their skill and make an absurd choice. I think to try and create an emotional moment that brought rolling rather than watering eyes.
The ending is dragged out without resolving the various elements that are touched on in the post climax minutes. Leaving an unsatisfied and dull feeling as the credits roll.
I think children may not mind these character inconsistencies, but the serious tone and significant violence make me wonder who this film is for. The vanishingly small audience old enough to see the violence and understand the serious tones of the story, but not notice the incredible lapses of judgement in the characters.
I give Mulan a 4/10. Don’t bother with this one.
Mulan Video Purchase Links:
4k Disc: https://amzn.to/3qNnRUw
Bluray Disc: https://amzn.to/2NqNcFb
Bluray Combo with 1998 Mulan: https://amzn.to/3pdZFu6