“Mulan,” the live action remake of the original animated feature — for all it’s anticipated majestic opening — falls short especially considering its production budget of $200 million. It’s also the most expensive film ever made by a female director, Niki Caro.
“Mulan” drops on Disney Plus today because most theaters are closed and parents aren’t keen on taking their kids to potential COVID spreading boxes. But you’ll have to pay an extra 30 bucks over the Disney Plus subscription to watch it. Unlike “Hamilton,” this is one Disney Plus selection that needs a financial boost.
With all that said, the film is a major disappointment. We all know the story: the young Chinese woman, Mulan, wanting to be a respected warrior has to dress like a man to fool her fellow soldiers, Luckily she has magical powers. It’s like “Yentl” if she could fly.
The problem is that it’s just that, a straightforward telling of the story with no humor, jo,y real action or any emotional connection to the characters at all. The characters are cold and unwelcomingwith little sensitivity to anything, including animals and people.
No one can say “Mulan” doesn’t look good. Mandy Walker’s cinematography fills in a lot of blanks. The whole production is top notch, especially the battle scenes. But in the end there is no feeling, no poignancy, or warmth. The title song, Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection,” is as unmemorable as the misguided “Mulan.”